British Championships: Day Five Features Prelim Records, Close Calls During Finals

SHEFFIELD, England, April 4. WHILE swimmers took advantage of evening prelims to break some records, the morning was all about winning and moving on to Beijing at the British Championships held in Sheffield.

National-record holder Kris Gilchrist opened the fifth night of swimming with a near-record time of 2:10.44 to win the men's 200 breast. He fell just short of his national standard of 2:10.32 set at the Japan International Swim Meet last summer. James Kirton wound up second in 2:13.47.

"I felt pretty disappointed with the time but delighted to have qualified," Gilchrist told British Swimming. "I felt really controlled last night but it wasn't as smooth this morning. But I am sure it'll be better in time for August. My main aim here was to make it to Beijing, the event is moving on all the time and I will have to move with that."

Although Jemma Lowe set the British record during prelims with a time of 57.78, Fran Halsall put her hand on the wall first when it counted with a time of 58.16 to win the women's 100 fly. Lowe, meanwhile, grabbed second-place honors with a time of 58.27.

Thomas Haffield, who crushed the Commonwealth record in the men's 400 IM during prelims with a time of 4:12.59, just made sure he qualified for Beijing during morning finals as he cruised to victory in 4:14.01. Euan Dale took second behind him in 4:16.33.

"It is hard to go back to back 400m IM," Haffield told British Swimming. "I felt really tired out there today. I think that showed with the time, my legs just lacked energy they didn't give me the drive that I wanted. But the job is done at the trials and I am now looking forward to the World Championships next week."

In the men's 100 fly, Michael Rock surfaced from an epic battle with Todd Cooper at the touch, 52.30 to 52.33. The time was short of his preliminary British-record time of 52.28, but it was enough to give him the victory.

"That was a really competitive event," Rock told British Swimming. "But I am delighted I managed to stick to my plan and bring home my own race. I arrived here nine minutes earlier than usual this morning to make sure I was totally awake. I didn't want to lose my chance of making the Olympic team after breaking the record last night."

At the end of the day, British Swimming reported that the following swimmers are "being considered for nomination" to the British Olympic Team:

David Carry (Aberdeen Dolphins) – 400m Freestyle
Dean Milwain (Loughborough University) – 400m Freestyle
Jemma Lowe (Borough of Stockton) – 200m Butterfly
Ellen Gandy (Beckenham) – 200m Butterfly
Gregor Tait (City of Edinburgh) – 100m Backstroke
Caitlin McClatchey (Loughborough University) – 100m Freestyle
Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool) – 100m Freestyle
Julia Beckett (Loughborough University) – 100m Freestyle
Jessica Sylvester (Nova Centurion) – 100m Freestyle
James Goddard (Loughborough University) – 200m IM
Liam Tancock (Loughborough University) – 200m IM
Rebecca Adlington (Nova centurion) – 400m Freestyle
Joanne Jackson (Derwentside) – 400m Freestyle
Mark Foster (Bath University) – 50m Freestyle
Gemma Spofforth (Portsmouth) – 100m Backstroke
Elizabeth Simmonds (Lincoln Vulcans) – 100m Backstroke
Chris Cook (City of Newcastle) – 100m Breaststroke
Kristopher Gilchrist (City of Edinburgh) – 100m Breaststroke
Hannah Miley (Garioch) – 200m IM
Keri-Anne Payne (Stockport Metro) – 200m IM
Ross Davenport (Loughborough University) – 200m Freestyle
Robert Renwick (City of Aberdeen) – 200m Freestyle
Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool) – 50m Freestyle
Gregor Tait (City of Edinburgh) – 200m Backstroke
James Goddard (Loughborough University) – 200m Backstroke
Kate Haywood (Loughborough University) – 100m Breaststroke
Kirsty Balfour (City of Edinburgh) – 100m Breaststroke
Kristopher Gilchrist (City of Edinburgh) – 200m Breaststroke
James Kirton (City of Sheffield) – 200m Breaststroke
Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool) – 100m Butterfly
Jemma Lowe (Borough of Stockton) – 100m Butterfly
Thomas Haffield (City of Cardiff) – 400m IM
Euan Dale (Loughborough University) – 400m IM
Michael Rock (Stockport Metro) – 100m Butterfly
Todd Cooper (Stirling) – 100m Butterfly

Additionally, Liam Tancock, David Davies and Kirsty Balfour were already pre-selected for the team.