Turner secures place on relay team
25 June 2012
Loughborough University’s director of swimming Ian Armiger has paid tribute to Grant Turner after he qualified for the Olympics from the ‘last chance saloon’.
Grant booked his place on the 44-strong Great Britain team with a great performance at the ASA Nationals in Sheffield to take Loughborough’s contingent at the Olympics and Paralympics to 15, their highest ever total.
Grant secured his place on the 4x100m freestyle relay team with a time of 49.01 in the heats of the men's 100m freestyle.
In the final he was overhauled in the last five metres by Adam Brown (Hatfield) and finished second in 49.25.
Ian Armiger said: “It was the last chance saloon for him and he was incredible in the heats of the 100m freestyle.
“He swam a huge personal best of 49.01 and looked fantastic. He came back at night and was just a fraction slower and just got edged out in the final in 49.3.
“But his times were good enough to see him included on the Olympic team and, hopefully, part of the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
“That was a great achievement for Grant and we are really excited. We will have 14 people at the Olympic Games and one at the Paralympics.
“That’s the most we have ever had at any Olympic Games, so we are really excited and pleased it worked out in the end.”
Caitlin McClatchey did not swim because of a chest infection but her time at the March trials was good enough to get he selected for the 200m freestyle. She had already made the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Ian said: “Caitlin had a chest infection and was unable to compete, but fortunately no-one went faster than her at these trials.”
Sadly, Jack Marriott, who took a year out from his studies at Oxford University to train at Loughborough in a bid to make the Olympics, missed out on a place in the team in the 100m butterfly.
Ian said: “Jack missed out by a narrow margin. But it was also the national championships and a few national titles came our way from some new kids on the block, like Tilly Gray in the 100m butterfly.
“Although Jack was disappointed not to make the team he did set new Loughborough records twice in the 50m butterfly, and was just a smidgeon outside the British record.”
Emma Hollis, a geography undergraduate, booked her place on the Paralympic team for the 400m freestyle at the trials in March.
Ian said: “We had someone on the Paralympic team in 2000 and 2004 but no-one in 2008 so we are back on the case, which is great.”
Over the four days Loughborough swimmers topped the medal table with six gold, three silver and six bronze medals.
Ian said: “We were surprised to top the table, that wasn’t our aim. There were people sitting exams and we didn’t send people like Liam Tancock and Fran Halsall.”
The 15 Loughborough Olympians are: Laurent Carnol (Luxembourg), Ross Davenport, Daniel Fogg, Francesca Halsall, Kate Haywood, Joanne Jackson, Caitlin McClatchey, Melanie Nocher (Ireland), Roberto Pavoni, Joe Roebuck, Elizabeth Simmonds, Amy Smith, Liam Tancock, Grant Turner, Emma Hollis (Paralympics).