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Miley's Early Season Marker: 4:35, 400IM

Mar 8, 2013  - Craig Lord

In the midst of hard training and a multi-event programme, World s/c, Commonwealth and European l/c champion Hannah Miley stormed to a 4:35.57 victory in the 400m medley at the British Gas International in Leeds. The time extended her lead at the helm of the early 2013 world rankings.

Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson, the second outside lane 8 smoker of the evening, made amends for almost missing the final with a dominant 1min 00.82 victory. Jamiseon had to swim-off for his place in the final after "miscalculating" his pace in morning heats. Today, he will race his Olympic-medal winning event, the 200m - which may be the reason why he sent a double to claim his medal for him as he swam down in a side pool.

Updates as the meet progresses

Women's 400m medley

Miley claimed the win over her Olympic teammates Aimee Wilmott, on 4:38.94, and world 10km champion Keri-Anne Payne, 4:42.85. Wilmott was out in front on butterfly and backstroke, Miley turning fourth after butterfly. The gap between the top two narrowed to 2:13.10 and 2:14.84 going into breaststroke and just 50m later Miley had caught up and by the turn into freestyle Miley, on 3:32.32, to 3:32.77. 

Having been pipped in the 200m by Siobhan Marie O'Connor, Miley, coached by her father Patrick at Garioch, was not about to let anyone keep her at bay in her best event and pulled away for a strong win over an excellent effort from Willmott, while Payne's time indicates a happy transition from Stockport to Edinburgh this season.

Miley said that she just wanted to "survive" the meet  and take "good and bad points" into the next phase of her preparations for June British trials for the world l/c champs in Barcelona come July and August.

"I’m really happy with how that went,” said Miley. “It is faster than I went two weeks ago which was a nice surprise. I’ve got a few events this week so that definitely hurt but it is all part of the preparation for the season. I raced nine races in one day last weekend so I’m racing a lot and trying to put that quality into training."

On the swift time, she added: "The fact I kind of played about and took it quite easy in the morning meant I could go a lot faster - but I didn't expect to go that quick. Recently I went a 4:36 and that was quite surprising, I didn't think I would go anywhere near that time. It's nice I've gone a little bit quicker - again I swam it a little bit different. But it's all part of the training and the process that hopefully when I'm rested I can get quicker."

In the youth final, the latest bright sparks to emerge from Nova Centurion, Rosie Rudin and Amber Keegan, took a 1-2 finish for their club in the 16 and unders 400IM. Their respective times of 4:51.68 and 4:52.23 took them inside the target times for representing Britain at the European Junior Championships in Poznan, Poland, in July.

Men's 100m Breaststroke

Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson, the second outside lane 8 smoker of the evening, made amends for almost missing the final with a dominant 1min 00.82 victory. Jamiseon had to swim-off for his place in the final after "miscalculating" his pace in morning heats. Today, he will race his Olympic-medal winning event, the 200m - which may be the reason why he sent a double to claim his medal for him as he swam down in a side pool.

Jamieson led from go to gold, his early commitment enough to keep at bay fast-finishing Christopher Steeples, of City of Manchester Aquatics, on 1:01.08, third place going to  Millfield's Robert Holderness in 1:01.47. Also in the mix in a tight final were Olympic teammates Andrew Willis, fifth in 1:01.76, and Craig Benson, 8th in 1:01.98.

“I’m quite happy, especially after this morning and having to swim an extra race so I have to be pleased to take the win,” said Jamieson. “I had to swim my own race in the outside lane, I couldn’t see what was happening and I just focused on my own swim. I have been working on my front end speed in that first 50m to get out a bit quicker and hopefully that will reduce my time. It bodes well for the 200m tomorrow."

On the nature of the meet, Jamieson, sporting a hint of beard, added: "This meet is more about the racing than the time - some are rested, some aren't, some are shaved, some aren't. I didn't want to let this (the beard) go because it's taken me a month to grow it. It bodes well for the 200 tomorrow."

Men's 50m Freestyle

Olympic champion in 2000 and world 50m and 100m champion in 2001, Anthony Ervin (USA and Cal Aquatics) was a league apart in the dash, his 22.28 leaving the rest in his wash. The others inside 23sec were led by teenager Benjamin Proud on 22.72 and one of many Plymouth leander swimmers making great strides. Jasper Van Mierlo (NED) clocked 22.91, with Kane Haggett on 22.96.

Men's 200m Butterfly

In a dominant 1:57.54, Joseph Roebuck was the outside lane 8 smoker at the helm of a race that saw the next five men home swim within 1.6 of each other. 

Entered as Loughborough University but training with coach Dave McNulty at Bath University after coach Ian Armiger left to head the programme in the Cayman Islands, Roebuck set the pace out on the wing, leaving the race for the spoils to the men in the middle. Roebuck's 1:55.94 at Olympic trials last year was followed by illness that left him below par at London 2012. 

Heading back to best, Roebuck said: "Things seem to be going really well. I'm in a new programme … I moved down to Bath with Dave McNulty, I'm trying out new ideas and techniques and we'll see what happens."

Adam Mallett took second in 1:59.30, with James Guy, heading to the Euro junior meet in Poland,third in 1:59.53.  Guy is shredding his book of personal best times, as you might expect from a 17-year-old on a roll towards senior waters with skills, technique, pace and a verve for competition in tow.

With the juniors having rested to race at a meet that can qualify them for action at the European juniors championships, the going is tough for many a senior in the full throes of heavy training. Olympic team member Roberto Pavoni was never far from the action tonight but his heavy arms could not take him to the wall quick enough and a 1:59.86 was good enough for fourth.

Women's 100m Backstroke

Olympic team member Georgia Davies, coached by Bud McAllister at Swansea, held off improving junior Lauren Quigley, both under 1:01, the win in 1:00.45 to 1:00.59. Third place went to another who has excelled in junior waters, Jessica Fullalove, on 1:01.56. In fourth place was Elizabeth Simmonds, Olympic 200m finalist and European champion in 2010: a 1:01.61 was not that bad considering the massive bruise and cut she sustained to her hand in the warm-up before the finals. The youth final went to Harriet Cooper in 1:02.40.

“I feel proud of myself for doing well in the 100m but I do prefer the 50m,” said Davies. “The 100 hurts a lot more and I did fade a bit towards the end. Backstroke is a strong event in Great Britain, Gemma (Spofforth) has retired but there are lot of younger girls coming through now.  It’s never comfortable and you’ve got to keep pushing. My time has come down from two weeks ago and I’m targeting the qualification time for the world champs now."

Women's 200m freestyle

Dutch visitor Femke Heemskerk controlled the pace and the race on her way to a 1:58.49 victory over Sheffield teammates Rebecca Turner, 1:58.72, and Eleanor Faulkner, 1:59.42. Heemskerk split 27.47, 57.35 and 1:27.69, compared to 27.88, 57.98 and 1:28.74 for Turner, who came back hard at the end but was unable to catch the Dutch wave up front.

Turner is among those Brits to have had their funding cut in the wake of disappointment at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Like Molly Renshaw (see 200m breaststroke below), Turner did what cutting funding is intended to do: she tightened her belt and resolve and is fighting to make things better - a lesson for some of the blazers in charge of the sport in Britain for whom there has been no or scant consequence post-London.

Women's 50m butterfly

Danish visitor Jeanette Ottesen clocked 25.76 for the win over Loughborough teammates Fran Halsall, 26.00, and Emma Wilkins, 26.98.

Women's 200m breaststroke

Molly Renshaw, of Derventio, showed she is made of strong stuff: a year ago it looked like she had made the cut for the Olympic team but she was left off the squad and an appeal was rejected. As any youngster would, she struggled with the decision but she worked on and tonight clocked 2:28.25 for the win over Olympic team member Stacey Tadd, of Bath Uni, on 2:30.53. Third place went to Kerry Buchan, South Aberdeen, on 2:30.82.

“I’m really pleased with that,” said Renshaw. “I’ve had a rocky start to the season and haven’t been close to my PB until now. My aim this year is to get my confidence back into racing, last year was tough. I need to get my head down, make the most of this year and see where it takes us."

Men's 1500m freestyle

Daniel Fogg, coached by Kevin Renshaw at Loughborough, shadowed Caleb Hughes to 1100m before taking control on his way to a 15:26.93 victory. In the Olympic 1500m final and close to the medals in the 10km, too, Fogg is in heavy training, while the young man keeping him company had a different mission as a candidate for the European junior champs. Out in lane 1, Hughes, a 17-year-old coached by Nick Juba at Hatfield, took second in 15:29.96, a big personal best inside the 15:40.29 he set in July last year. Third place went to Perth's Stephen Milne in 15:33.51, inside a previous best of 15:36.46.

"My target was 15.30 or better which I did two weeks ago at BUCS,” said Fogg. “This was a better swim than that so I’m pleased. We are at the end of a really hard block of 77km this week in training and I think that is one of my best times unrested.”

Paralympic swimmers were also in action in Leeds today. 

Report courtesy of British Swimming:

Paralympic Champion Josef Craig (S7 of South Tyneside swam close to his own World Record to win the MC 400m Freestyle event on the second night of the British Gas International Meet in Leeds.

Posting the second fastest time in history for his classification, Craig won the gold in 4.43.53 (992 points) ahead of teammate Jonathan Fox (S7) (Newquay Cormorants) who was second in 4.50.91 (919 points).

Ollie Hynd of Nova Centurion swam to bronze in 4.38.14.

“I’m really pleased with the race, that was nearly as quick as the Paralympic games,” said Craig. “I feel like I’m getting that long course race pace back that I had before the games.

“We’re in heavy training at the minute and I want to stay as close to my Games times so when I come to the World trials I will be where I need to be to break world records.

“I’ve been doing more work in the gym and it is paying off, I can feel it in my races. My shorter distance times are coming down to."

Jessica-Jane Applegate added two gold medals to her tally tonight winning gold in the MC 200m Freestyle in a new British Record of 2.12.47.

The Paralympic champion dominated from the gun and touched for gold ahead of Natalie Massey (Aquabears) in second in 2.20.20 and Chloe Davies (Trowbridge) in third with a time of 2.20.37.

Applegate then added the 100m Butterfly gold in a successful night at the pool for the youngster from Norwich and she was delighted with her swims.

“I felt really pleased with my swims,” she said. “I felt a lot of pressure coming into the 200m Free because people expect me to win after the Paralympics but I managed to calm myself in time for my races.

“My 200m Free was a PB untapered so I’m really happy with that.”

She took the 100m Fly title in 1.11.84 ahead of Stephanie Slater of Preston (1.11.42) and Stephanie Millward  of Aquae Sulis (1.13.52) in silver and bronze respectively.

Kelly College’s Hannah Russell was victorious again in the pool tonight, taking her second gold medal of the meet in the MC 400m Freestyle.

S12 athlete Russell was less than two seconds off her personal best time and clocked 4.40.00 to take the victory.

Tully Kearney of Royal Wolverhampton won the silver in a time of 4.45.56 whilst Rosie Bancroft (City of Oxford) lowered her own S10 British Record to take bronze in 4.47.68.

“I thought that was really good, a definite improvement on this morning,” Russell said.” I wanted to go in there and swim my absolute hardest so see where I was.”

“it’s been tough racing finals back to back but it is good preparation.”

Stockport Metro’s Dan Pepper took the win in the MC200m Freestyle men’s event in 2.04.92, he beat off a challenge from Ben Procter (Newquay Cormorants) who came second in 2.05.77.

Jack Thomas of Swansea University was third in 2.07.61.

“I’m really pleased with that swim,” said Pepper. “I’ll be very interested to see what time I went out in as I’ve been working on my front end speed in training recently so I went out hard in that race.

“I’ve got the 200m IM  and 100m Breaststroke coming up in the next few days  and those races could go either way so I’m just looking forward to seeing what I can do.”

Edinburgh University’s Craig Rodgie won the gold in the MC  100m Fly men’s final in a time of 1.03.55. He beat James Hollis of Loughborough University into silver (1.10.03) and James

Clegg of East Lothian to bronze in 1.02.00.