marshall bounces back to form

Melanie Marshall helped the women’s 4x200m relay squad to world championship qualification in taking the 200m title, but her time of 1:58.50 was just shy of the individual standard. The swim did confirm that Marshall has got over the disappointments that plagued her in Athens last year, being her best time since last year’s trials.

She will be joined on the relay team by Loughborough team-mates Caitlin McClatchey who again lowered her personal best with 1:59.53 and Julia Beckett who swam a big personal best from lane 1 to take third in 2:00.86 – evidence that Ben Titley’s stewardship of the relay squad is bearing fruit. Joanne Jackson rounded out the quartet with fourth place.
There were no individual qualifications on the third night of competition, with many swimmers instead opting to chase qualifying times at the Stage Three meet, nearer to the world championships.
Todd Cooper took the men’s 100m fly, while Robin Francis triumphed, just, in the 200m IM but was made to work hard by Loughborough’s Joe Roebuck who was second by only 0.1 seconds. Gemma Spofforth took her second title, adding the 50m backstroke to the 100m title she took earlier in the meet, and will now be aiming for a clean sweep in the 200m event. In the last final of the night, Edinburgh’s Kris Gilchrist took his first national title over 200m breaststroke.