burnett rounds off in style

In a fitting climax to the Commonwealth Games Trials, Simon Burnett, undoubtedly the swimmer of the week, set his 5th British record, lowering the 100m freestyle standard again as he confirmed his third individual swim. He was joined on the team by Jo Jackson who qualified in the 400m freestyle, while Chris Cook added another swim to his programme by winning the 50m breaststroke.
Having swum 48.76 in the semi final, Burnett had been looking for a swim under 48.5 but instead had to be content with an improvement to 48.68 at the finish. After a heavy programme of racing in a condensed period the Arizona based swimmer was still please with his performance. “It’s been a tough week of racing and over that last 25m I was hurting a lot.” he said, “It’s been an unbelievable week and the event I was most looking forward to swimming was always the 100m as I really wanted to see what I could do. Loughborough’s Chris Cozens also dipped under 50 seconds to take silver in 49.97 while Horwich’s Anthony Howard set a new PB of 50.03 for bronze. Combined with fourth placed Ross Davenport’s swim of 50.30, the cumulative time of the first four home was also inside the relay qualification standard for Melbourne, although the team will not be confirmed until after the stage 3 meet.
The only new name added to the team for Melbourne was Jo Jackson, who won the 400m freestyle in the absence of Scot Caitlin McClatchey in a time of 4.09.43 to finish with in the A qualification standard. Rebecca Cooke was second home in 4:11.52. David Davies took eh equivalent men’s title in 3:50.66, having spent much of the race under British Record pace.
Chris Cook added another swim to his programme in Melbourne as he set a personal best of 27.82. The Newcastle swimmer has maintained his Montreal form this week and is now established as Britain’s number one e in the discipline. James Gibson finished agonisingly close to the A standard din second with 28.14, while Darren Mew took bronze. Cook will now consider his options for the 200m event ahead of the stage 3 meet. “I’m going to get a big block of work done and will be travelling to Australia in September where I’ll look at the 200m event.” he said “If I can get down to what I think could be a winning time then I’ll seriously consider going for that at the Commonwealths.”
There was another near miss for Melanie Marshall, who just missed out on qualification in the 100m freestyle having suffered a similar fate over 200m earlier in the week. Her winning time of 55.50 got her home 0.4s ahead of 16- year old Fran Halsall who took silver. In the other women’s finals, Katy Sexton won the 50m backstroke in 29.14 while Ros Brett took the gold in the 50m Butterfly, but both were outside the automatic qualification standards, while Scot Kerry Buchan took the 200m breaststroke title in a personal beasts time of 2:30.02.
On the men’s side Liam Tancock was another to continue where he left off in Montreal, winning the 100m backstroke in 55.12, but just missing the A standard. Meanwhile in a victory for youth, Michael Rock set a British Age Group record of 54.26 to win the 100m butterfly final.
The week of competition therefore leaves England with only 5 swimmers guaranteed a spot on the Melbourne teem. Many others will now have their eyes on the Stage 3 meet in December, where easier qualification standards will be in place. Those confirmed are Simon Burnett (50m , 100m, 200m Freestyle), Liam Tancock ( 50m Backstroke), Rebecca Cooke (800m Freestyle), Chris Cook (50m, 100m Breaststroke) and Joanne Jackson (400m Freestyle).