British Championships: First Day Adds Seven to Olympic Roster

SHEFFIELD, England, April 1. THE first day of finals action at the British Championships, which are serving as the Olympic Trials event for the country, witnessed seven swimmers complete their journeys to Olympic roster spots.

In the men's 400 freestyle to open the first day of finals, David Carry captured a spot in Beijing with a time of 3:49.78. The time is off Carry's national record of 3:47.40, but good enough to punch his ticket to the Olympics. Dean Milwain, who lead qualifying, placed second in 3:50.50 and will also head to Beijing.

"I knew it was going to be hard after the way everyone is swimming but I was pushed all the way this morning for those Olympic spots," Carry told British Swimming. "It was a case of ignoring everything around you and focusing on your own race, making sure you got to the wall first. I wanted to get out there and dominate the race. It's great to be British Champion again and to get that Olympic time, the team is shaping up nicely, everyone is in great shape and it's something exciting to be a part of."

Jemma Lowe, who broke the national record during preliminaries with a time of 2:06.64 on her 18th birthday gave herself a belated present with a berth on the Olympic roster when she won the women's 200 fly in 2:07.61. Meanwhile, Ellen Gandy grabbed the other spot in the event with a second-place time of 2:07.69, just being touched out by Lowe.

"I did my best against a very strong field and I'm delighted to be British Champion," Lowe told British Swimming. "I couldn't believe my record last night but I felt it today. I've been thinking of this for a long time now, I've trained harder than ever before and to do so well here this week is a great reward. We've all still got it to do at the Olympics but this is a fantastic start and shows the form I'm in. I'm just so excited about this year."

Caitlin McClatchey, building on her national-record performance of a 54.31 in the women's 100 free during prelims, snatched the title in the event with a 54.58. Fran Halsall finished in second with a time of 54.81 as both will be on the plane to Beijing.

"Today was just about making sure I qualified," McClatchey told British Swimming. "I knew it was going to be a tough race as everyone is swimming so well. It's a really exciting time at the moment and I'm glad to be a part of it."

The first hard-luck finisher of the day came in the men's 100 back as Matt Clay touched second with a 54.35, behind only Gregor Tait's 54.22. British Swimming, however, had already pre-selected Liam Tancock in the event and only one swimmer would move on from the men's 100 back.

British Olympic Roster After Day One
Courtesy of British Swimming
David Carry (Aberdeen Dolphins)
Dean Milwain (Loughborough University)
Jemma Lowe (Borough of Stockton)
Ellen Gandy (Beckenham)
Gregor Tait (City of Edinburgh)
Caitlin McClatchey (Loughborough University)
Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool)