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3 April 2008 PR 08/44

Loughborough’s Tancock on top of the world

Loughborough student Liam Tancock became Britain’s first World Record holder since 2002 with a powerful performance in the 50m Backstroke at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

Tancock’s effort was the highlight of a series of top displays from Loughborough University’s swimmers as Ross Davenport and Kate Haywood became the latest athletes to secure qualification times for the Beijing Olympics.

With his Olympic ticket already guaranteed, Tancock targeted a new world time in the first leg of last night’s 200m Backstroke and successfully added his name to an elite list of British athletes to become fastest in the world.

The 22-year-old touched the wall at 50m in a time of 24.47 seconds, breaking the current record by almost half a second.

“I haven’t swam the 50m properly since Japan where I tried to break the world record last summer but I definitely achieved that this time and it feels great,” said Tancock. “I know it is not in the Olympic programme but it gives me a lot of confidence to get that record. It gets the place buzzing and it just feels amazing to swim that fast.”

Loughborough team mate James Goddard, who set back to back Commonwealth Records in the 200m Individual Medley this week, this morning added the 200m Backstroke to his Beijing event list. In a fast race that saw Scottish rival Gregor Tait set a new Commonwealth Record (1:56.67), Goddard swam a lifetime best of 1:56.82 for British silver.

And on the back of a record-breaking swim last night, the University’s Kate Haywood secured a qualification time in the 100m Breaststroke. Her time of 1:07.84 was just outside her new British best (1:07.56), but was enough to earn her the British crown.

“That’s not as fast as last night but it’s still one of the fastest races I’ve ever swum,” she said.

“It was brilliant last week to get the European gold and the record. I knew I was in good shape and with Gemma Spofforth who trained with us at Loughborough before the Trials getting the British Record yesterday it looks great for the Medley Relay.”

Four University swimmers made history this morning in the first British 200m Freestyle final ever to see all athletes go below one minute 50 seconds. Ross Davenport, David Carry, Daniel Coombs and Dean Milwain all posted fast times to dip below the magic marker.

Davenport took his first ever 200m British title in 1:47.66, whilst training partner Carry was edged out of Olympic consideration in the individual event by Scottish team mate Robbie Renwick. Carry, who has already qualified in his main 400m Freestyle event, is likely to be part of the squad for the 4x200m relay.

Davenport was delighted with his performance, which secures him Olympic selection, and is also looking forward to the prospect of being part of a fast 4x200m relay team.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I have a horrible statistic that I’ve never won the 200m at the British Championships. I’m a Commonwealth Champion, I’ve been 4th in the world, but I’ve never managed the British Championships. I’ve finally done it and that’s a big weight off my mind.

“There’s a real strength in depth in the 200m Free at the moment. British Swimming have put a lot of effort into this event and it’s clearly showing.”

Carry, who hopes to join Davenport as part of Britain’s relay, is excited about the strength of swimmers in the event.

“My main priority is the 400m Freestyle and after that the 4x200m,” he explained. “Having guys of this calibre in the team is really exciting. Three years ago I made aim to come back from an Olympics with a medal and on the back of the performances this week that could happen this year.”

Loughborough trio Amy Smith, Claudia Coleman and Aimee Ramm were all in action in this morning’s 50m Freestyle final. Smith was just out of medal contention for fourth in 26.10 seconds, while Coleman and Ramm swam lifetime bests to finish 6th and 7th in 26.48 and 26.62 respectively.

And with so many athletes at the top of their game, a further four University Records have fallen; to Tancock (50m Backstroke), Haywood (100m Breaststroke), Goddard (200m Backstroke) and Davenport (200m Freestyle). Scott Hathaway was also within the previous 200m Backstroke record with a lifetime best swim of 2:02.01 in last night’s heats. He went on to finish 6th in the final in 2:03.42.

Pre-selected Loughborough swimmers:
Liam Tancock, 100m Backstroke, added 200m Individual Medley at Trials
David Davies (Loughborough-based), 1500m Freestyle

Loughborough University swimmers within Olympic qualification times (British Swimming to confirm squad on Sunday 6 April):
David Carry (Loughborough-based), 400m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle
Dean Milwain, 400m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle
Caitlin McClatchey, 100m Freestyle
Julia Becket, 4x100m Freestyle
James Goddard, 200m Individual Medley, 200m Backstroke
Ross Davenport, 200m Freestyle
Gemma Spofforth (Florida University, made final Trial preparations at Loughborough), 100m Backstroke


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend, Sports PR Officer, Loughborough University,
T: 01509 228686, E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. The British Swimming Championships (Olympic Trials) take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, from 31 March to 6 April. Heats start at 6pm and finals are at 10am. Live results are available via http://www.britishswimming.org
  2. Loughborough University athletes in action this week are as follows:
    Liam Tancock, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
    James Gibson, 100m Breaststroke
    Euan Dale, 200m Freestyle, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
    Ross Davenport, 50m, 100m & 200m Freestyle
    David Davies, 200m & 400m Freestyle (Based at Lboro)
    David Carry, 100m, 200m & 400m Freestyle (Based at lboro)
    James Goddard, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
    Craig Gibbons, 50m, 100m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke
    Dean Milwain, 200m & 400m Freestyle
    Joe Roebuck, 200m Butterfly, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
    Chris Watkinson, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
    Scott Hathaway, 100m & 200m Backstroke
    Daniel Coombs, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 200m Individual Medley
    Grant Turner, 50m, 100m, 200m & 400m Freestyle
    Joe Canlan Shaw, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
    Jonathon Cook, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
    Daniel Fogg, 400m & 1500m Freestyle
    Craig Elliot, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
    Jamie Broom, 200m & 400m Freestyle
    James Clarke, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 100m Butterfly
    Ewan Martin, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
    Jonathon Gatley, 400m Individual Medley
    James Tait, 100m Breaststroke
    Edward Downes, 200m Buttefly, 200m & 400m Individual Medley
    Adam Freundlich, 100m Breaststroke
    Josh Ker, 100m & 200m Butterfly
    James Lovatt, 100m, 200m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
    Michael Unsworth, 1500m Freestyle

    Caitlin McClatchey, 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m Freestyle
    Melanie Marshall, 100m, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Backstroke
    Julia Beckett, 100m, 200m, 400m Freestyle & 100m Butterfly
    Kate Haywood, 100m & 200m Breaststroke
    Amy Smith, 50m, 100m & 200m Freestyle
    Rebecca Shaw, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Butterfly
    Aimee Ramm, 50m & 100m Freestyle
    Claudia Coleman, 50m & 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke & 200m Individual Medley
    Sophie Casson, 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Backstroke
    Emma Boret, 100m & 200m Butterfly
    Jade Barclay, 200m Butterfly
    Georgina Fromson, 100m Butterfly
    Julianne Lago, 100m & 200m Butterfly
  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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