It was a straightforward choice for you in our poll to find the swimmers of 2005, with both men’s and women’s victors garnering over 60% of the votes in their respective categories. It wasn’t just those who fared best in Montreal who were rewarded, although that of course seems to have been a factor in the results, but the performances over the year that have decided things. So without further ado here are the winners of our 2005 poll.
1. Simon Burnett
It’s no surprise to see the Wycombe and Arizona man at the top of the poll, where he was a runaway winner, given his stunning progress in the sprint freestyle events. Even though he missed the World Championships he put the time to good use at his US training base returning to the UK for the Commonwealth Games Trials and setting a host of British records and world class times in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events. He backed that form up in Melbourne lowering his British record again as he took the gold over 100m freestyle and added a second win in the 4x200m and silver in the 200m individual.
2. Liam Tancock
Loughborough Liam Tancock was one of the few British swimmers to emerge from Montreal in credit as he took his first senior international medal with bronze in the 50m backstroke, setting British records along the way, combined with a creditable performance in the 100m event where he just missed the final. He has continued the progress started there, taking individual gold and silver in Melbourne and setting a British record in the 1 lap event just a few hundredths outside the world record
3. Mark Foster
The evergreen veteran Mark Foster is always popular in these polls and that once again proved the case in 2005 as he edged out David Davies for the third spot. Despite missing the World Championships as her again failed to make the required selection standard, Foster bounced back in the his favoured short course format at the European championships in December, defending his 50m freestyle title and taking silver in the 50m butterfly. Fos bowed out this year after disappointing performances by his own standard in Melbourne and the World Short Course in Shanghai, but has been a great servant of British swimming over the last 20 years.
1. Caitlin McClatchey
Scotland and Loughborough Caitlin McClatchey has been a massive success story of the past two years since making her senior international debut in the 4x200m freestyle relay in Athens and like Burnett was a massive winner in our poll. A step up in her training following her move form Loughborough to work with Ben Titley and a subsequent move to the 400m event bore fruit as she took Britain’s first medal in Montreal, a bronze in the 8 lap event. She had already set a British record of 4.07.02 a world class time, earlier in the year at the stage 3 selection meet,. and only narrowly failed to better that feat in the Montreal final. From that base, McClatchey has gone from strength to strength, despite a sight injury setback late last year, becoming one of the stars of the Melbourne games, where she took gold in the 200m free in a British record and beat hot favourite Libby Lenton.
2. Kate Haywood
Kate Haywood, like McClatchey and Tancock, emerged from last wears’ worlds with a modicum of credit having made the final of the 50m breaststroke for 6th pace overall. She had set a British record din the 100m event earlier in 2005, reducing the time to 1:08.14, and just narrowly failed to match that in Montreal as she missed out on the 100m final. She bounced back from any lingering disappointment to take 5th and 6th in the European Short course championships in December.
3. Rebecca Cooke
Rebecca Cooke has been one of British Swimmings most c consistent championship performers since she made her senior international debut in 1998. 2005 wasn’t a vintage year for the Glasgow swimmer by her own high standards, but that still meant finals appearances in Montreal in the 800m and 1500m freestyle, where she placed 7th in both, and a British record of 8:28.30 for the 800m event and 4:45.03 for the 400IM at trials. Having missed the short course season, Cookie bounced back in Melbourne to defend her 800m title and take silver in the longer medley.