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British Short Course Championships - Day Three

Aug 16, 2003  - Anita Lonsbrough

David Davies versus Graeme Smith was youth against experience in the 1500m freestyle. It was the vastly experienced Smith nine years the senior who set the early pace but Davies shadowed him all the way. By a third of the distance the two were level and with just under half the race remaining the roles reversed with Davies trying to open up a gap. Smith who finished fifth at the World Championships just one place behind Davies, tried to respond but eventually the elastic broke and Davies was off on his own. Cheered on by his team mates the teenager came home in a personal best of 14min 41;85 his second best mark for he covered the 800m in 7min 50;13. Smith who was home nearly ten seconds in arrears as the two lapped the field.

Davies admitted, "I'm pleased with that it's a good personal best time. It just gets harder and harder, though, I've had four big events this summer and each one has been extremely tough. To come away from this with gold a new best time is very satisfying but I still think I can go faster. He went on to explain "It's been a mad summer for me. I received my A-level results this week. I'm glad it's out of the way. I got two A's and a B. I didn't know I was that intelligent. I've got one more race to go now and then I can have a well earned rest". About the race "it was hard racing against Graeme tonight, I tried to break him three or four times but he wasn't having any of it until the end. It's great to have two good distance swimmers in this country as we both push each other on".

Becky Cooke and Canada's Brittany Reimer renewed their rivalry in the 400m freestyle. Just three weeks ago theses two battled it out for the bronze in the 800m freestyle at the World Championships with Cooke at twenty-five years the senior, snatching the third spot. In the sixteen-length race Cooke could not rid herself of her rival try as she may. 0;43 was the furthest Cooke managed to get away. With two lengths to go the pair started their sprint for home but Cooke was determined not to give in finishing just 0;15sec ahead in a British record of 4min 03;46sec to shave 1;57sec established some nineteen and a half years ago.

Cooke said afterwards "That's twp personal bests in two events for me as well as two British records. That's really pleasing. I came back from the World Championships and had to get back into training the very next day, as I wanted to prepare for this meet as well as the World Student Games in Korea next week. It's paid off for me". Of her record-breaking performance "It's an amazi8ng achievement to break the British record which has stood since I was just one-year old. It also best my previous best by three seconds which is fantastic",

Alison Sheppard shrugged off her disappointment at the World Championships to bounce back and lower her own British and Commonwealth record for the 100m medley. After the butterfly leg it was all one-way traffic for the Commonwealth 50m freestyle champion as she came home in 1min 00;76sec over one second ahead of her nearest rival and 0;12 inside her previous best.

The thirty-year old admitted "I'm really happy with that. I was hoping to go under 61 so to do that and break the British and Commonwealth records is a real confidence booster for me". She added, "it's no secret I've had a bad summer but I'm pleased with the way I've picked myself up and turned things around. To be able to come here and do that is great. It show's I'm not out of it just yet".

It was the old firm of Stephen Parry and James Hickman who once again did battle in the 200m butterfly. Hickman normally noted for his fast start played a waiting game sitting on Parry's shoulder hoping to find the faster finishing sprint. But Parry who was fourth in Barcelona was having none of it hanging on to win by 0;42sec in 1min 53;19sec. To give Hickman his first defeat short course by a British rival.

Parry admitted afterwards "It was very much a case of the same story just on a different day with James and myself neck and neck for most of the race. There was nothing between us as usual but it's great to beat him and do it in my own pool was special". He went on to explain about the race, "It was a good race but I wouls have liked to have gone a little faster. A bit of pride comes into it when you're up against James. You don't want to go off too fast and die at the end because of that I didn't swim a great race".

In a highly competitive 100m freestyle the British record holder Matthew Kidd who is based in the states these days where he is at university, set out determined to try and maintain his number one spot. He was ahead for the first 30m but then the charged started with the lead changing several times. But coming out of the final turn it was Chris Cozens who shot ahead and there he stayed winning in 47;80sec to become the first British competitor to dip under the 48sec mark. He also shaved 0;26 off Kidd's figures.

Cozens claimed afterwards, "My main focus at the moment is the World Student Games next week. I'm not rested for this event so to do that time tonight is a bonus. I came here with no expectations as South Korea is the goal so I'm delighted with that swim. It gives me lots of confidence".

Zoe Cray ignored the reputation of her rivals that included the 200m world champion, Katy Sexton, to storm to victory in the 50m backstroke. Her winning time of 28;04sec was 0;04 inside the British record held by Sarah Price a none starter in this event. She finished 0;19sec ahead of freestyle specialist Melanie Marshall with Sexton a further 0;23 behind in third spot.

Cray's victory was tinged with disappointment "I'm totally thrilled with that. Every round of the competition was a best for me and to break the record in the final is amazing". She added, "I'm a bit disappointed I didn't go under 28seconds but just to get the record is pleasing. It's always tough competing in women's backstroke because there are so many talented swimmers in this country. To come out on top is just so pleasing".

James Gibson the world champion was none starter in the 50m breaststroke leaving it to the British and Commonwealth short course record holder, Darren Mew, to take the top honours. Mew shot off the blocks and into the lead but after the turn Chris Cook made a brave attempt to close up. But Mew sensed victory and held him off lowering his own best to 26;72sec with Cook just 0;32sec behind.

Mew claimed, "That's what I came here to do tonight. I wanted to go 26seconds and I really enhjoyed that. It wasn't the cleanest of races. I over stroked a little but my preparation saw mne achieve one of the fastest times ever in history.

Stockport, Aug 14-27 (25 m)

Day 3 finals


1	47.80	Cozens Chris,82,GBR
2	48.59	Flouch Casey,82,AUS
3	48.60	Scotcher Alex,80,GBR
4	48.83	Burnett Simon,82,GBR
5	48.96	Kidd Matthew,79,GBR
6	49.19	Leith David,79,GBR
7	49.83	Gibbons Craig,86,GBR
8	50.16	Meadows Gavin,77,GBR

1	14:41.85	Davies David,85,GBR
2	14:51.27	Smith Graeme,76,GBR
3	15:17.69	Alderton Chris,87,GBR
4	15:18.80	Bircher Alan,81,GBR
5	15:30.25	Owen John,84,GBR
6	15:31.32	Proud David,86,GBR
7	15:31.39	Hunter Andrew,86,GBR
8	15:37.67	Andrews Jonathan,81,GBR

1	26.72	Mew Darren,79,GBR
2	27.02	Cook Chris,79,GBR
3	27.99	Wolfarth Mark,82,GBR
4	28.28	Lee Robert,83,CAN
5	28.37	Wooldridge Michael,83,AUS
6	28.52	Nixon Jonathan,84,GBR
7	28.56	Manford Stuart,86,GBR
8	28.92	Bartlett David,83,GBR

1	1:53.19	Parry Stephen,77,GBR
2	1:53.61	Hickman James,76,GBR
3	1:56.55	Edwards Matthew,86,GBR
4	1:57.60	Bowe Matthew,83,GBR
5	1:58.30	Lewis Mark,83,GBR
6	2:01.20	Leel Martin,85,GBR
7	2:01.92	Timbs Gary,81,GBR
8	2:04.79	O'Loughlin Kevin,86,GBR

1	3:35.48	University of Bath,GBR
2	3:35.59	Stockport Metro,GBR
3	3:44.50	Queensland,AUS
4	3:45.11	University of Bath B,GBR
5	4:01.08	Portsmouth Northsea,GBR
6	4:02.80	Warrender,GBR


1	4:03.46	Cooke Rebecca,83,GBR
2	4:03.61	Reimer Brittany,88,CAN
3	4:09.21	Payne Keri Anne,87,GBR
4	4:10.11	Jackson Joanne,86,GBR
5	4:10.58	Nisbet Karen,81,GBR
6	4:11.49	Gorman Melissa,85,AUS
7	4:11.58	Shaw Rebecca,85,GBR
8	4:16.82	Berry Danielle,88,GBR

1	28.71	Cray Zoe,73,GBR
2	29.12	Marshall Melanie,82,GBR
3	29.49	Spofforth Gemma,87,GBR
4	29.79	Beckett Julia,86,GBR
5	30.18	Beechey Laura,85,GBR
6	30.20	Proud Stephanie,88,GBR
7	30.29	Lee Karen,83,GBR
8	30.45	Sexton Katy,82,GBR

1	1:00.76	Sheppard Alison,72,GBR
2	1:01.91	Chapman Lisa,84,GBR
3	1:02.21	Windeatt Claire,85,GBR
4	1:02.72	Morahan Rosie,88,GBR
5	1:03.43	Fratesi Jennifer,84,CAN
6	1:03.51	Evans Kathryn,81,GBR
7	1:04.51	Howells Gemma,84,GBR
8	1:04.77	Howe Mackenzie,86,GBR

1	4:17.26	University of Bath,GBR
2	4:18.81	Queensland,AUS
3	4:25.73	Plymouth,GBR
4	4:30.76	Stockport Metro,GBR