goddard aims high

James Goddard produced the swim of his life to qualify second fastest for the men’s 200m backstroke final on day 5 of competition in Athens, setting a British record into the bargain. Teammate Gregor Tait also claimed a finals berth, but the backstroke pair were the only British swimmers to progress.
Goddard took his semi-final by the scruff of the neck , leading comfortably at every turn. He was reeled in a little on the final 50, but came home in 1:57.25, a new Commonwealth and British standard. Moments later, Gregor Tait also booked his spot in tomorrow’s final as he came home in third place in his semi, behind world record holder Aaron Peirsol. Peirsol remains favourite for gold, but the fight for the minor medals remains wide open.
Britain’s only finalists of the night were the Women’s 4x200m freestyle team. the squad of Melanie Marshall, Georgina Lee, Caitlin McClatchey and Karen Pickering battled hard but faded from contention when a flying third leg from the German squad left them trailing in 4th place. They were also pipped by the Australian squad near the end, despite a 1:58.74 split from veteran Pickering and came home in 5th, just outside the British Record.
Britain’s semi finalists Adrian Tuner and Robin Francis (both 200IM) and Kirsty Balfour (200m Breaststroke) were all unfortunately outside their best times and didn’t progress to their finals.