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British Olympic Trials - Day 3

Jul 28, 2000  - Anita Lonsbrough

Paul Palmer the Olympic silver medallist, produced another powerful performance to dominate the 200m freestyle just outside his British record, on day three of the Olympic Trials in Sheffield.

The twenty five year old exudes so much confidence these days that no one would consider betting against him on the home scene. Even when he was down at the 100m mark, no one ever considered he is going to be beaten.

Jamie Salter set the early pace while Palmer started out relaxed but over the second Palmer stepped up the pace to close down on his rivals and smoothly move into the lead.

Palmer who has won a medal at Olympic, World and European level, was pleased that he was pre selected because he it has enabled him to experiment with his tactics.

His time of 1min 48.42sec just 0.41sec outside his British record and his second fastest he has ever recorded. Salter hung on to the runners up spot with a time of 1min 48.73sec his second Olympic qualifying time. On day one he finished runner up to Palmer in the 400m freestyle in a qualifying time.

The first five swimmers were all under the 1min 50sec mark, which Palmer admitted, was "brilliant" because this now has the makings of a good relay.

Palmer of Bath, will now attempt to gain selection for a third event the 1500m where he faces the 1996 Olympic bronze medallist Graeme Smith. Smith the Anglo-Scot from Stockport, looks to be in good form having twice lowered his own Scottish figures for the 200m distance.

The 100m backstroke was a battle between the British record holder Sarah Price and the former record holder Katy Sexton. Price was first at the 50m mark but Sexton made the better turn. The two swam stroke for stroke down the final length until the last few metres when Sexton the Commonwealth 200m champion, got the upper hand to touch home in 1min 01.80sec to reclaim the British mark. Price came in just 0.38sec behind but both times were inside the Olympic target.

The mens backstroke saw the victory and qualifying time go to Adam Ruckwood the 200m specialist. Neil Willey set the pace and looked to have the win all tied up but with his 10m to go his stroke deteriorated .

A fast finished Ruckwood swept by to take the honours in 55.81sec