Loughborough University’s Caitlin McClatchey was the star of the final two days of the Stage 3 selection meet in Swansea, as she erased the oldest women’s British Record still in the books. Already slated to swim in the 4x200m freestyle relay, McClatchey’s swim of 4:07.02 destroyed Sarah Hardcastle’s 1986 effort of 4:07.68 to confirm an individual swim in Montreal. Runner up Jo Jackson also booked herself a team spot with a swim of 4:09.57.
McClatchey joined 6 of her Loughborough teammates on the squad for next month’s World Championships and was clearly surprised by her efforts in what is her first season of 400m swimming – her time now jumps her to second on the world rankings.”It’s just great to break the record. We were hoping to go fast next month but we didn’t think we would do it here.” said the Scot “It gives me such confidence for the World Championships.”
Following a disappointing night of finals on Saturday, where no new names were added to the team sheet, the team was also joined on Sunday by Katy Sexton, who put a difficult year behind her to qualify in the 200m backstroke, the event in which she will now defend her world title. The Portsmouth swimmer was pushed hard by Mel Marshall, who looks set to be given a swim in this event next month, as she came home in 2:11.49, well inside the required selection time.
Chris Cook was unfortunately just outside the selection time in the 100m breaststroke, missing out by just 0.14 seconds, and Mark foster again missed the cut as he was well off the required standard despite recording an easy victory in the 50m freestyle. Elsewhere, Olympic bronze medallist David Davies swam the second fastest 1500m of the year, bettered only by Grant Hackett’s perfomance at the Australian Trials, finishing almost a minute ahead of his nearest rival in 15:02.33.
The result over the weekend now means that fifteen swimmer have booked themselves individual swims for the world championships. There are no men’s relay teams qualified, although the women will be represented by medley and 4x200m freestyle squads, which will swell the total number of swimmers to a minimum of 17.