the pullbuoy british swimmers of 2001 – results

2001 was a greatly improved year for British Swimming with a good showing at the World championships and high expectations for next year’s Commonwealth Games. But who were the outstanding British swimmers of 2001? Here’s who you thought filled those roles; look out for interviews with the winners (hopefully!) on pullbuoy soon.

pullbuoy female swimmer of 2001 – Sarah Price

There was only ever going to be one winner in this category, with Sarah Price receiving 60% of the votes. Sarah had a successful 2001 in both the long and short course pools and has now established herself a the premier women’s backstroke in Britain, a status that was confirmed when she recently broke the 200m long course record to complete her collection of every British backstroke record both long and short course.

Sarah competed in the 50 and 100 backstroke events in Fukuoka, finishing 14th in the 50m, 6th in the final of the 100 but it was her performances at the Australian Short Course championships shortly afterwards that really caught the eye. A tremendous swim of 2.04.44 for the 200m backstroke demolished the previous world record, set only minutes earlier in the same session, by over 1.4s. Following that performance all eyes were on Sarah when she competed in the European Short Course Championships in Antwerp. She did not disappoint, finishing 6th on the 50m but more importantly winning the silver in the 100m and the 200m gold in some style, leaving the field for dead to win by more than 2 seconds.

Although Sarah’s world record may have been broken by America’s Natalie Coughlin, it seems certain that there is more to come in 2002 and who knows, maybe we’ll see a British name on the 200m world record again come the world short course championships later this year.

pullbuoy male swimmer of 2001 – Graeme Smith

Five years ago at the Atlanta Olympics, Graeme Smith was very nearly on top of the world, winning bronze in the 1500m, behind the great Kieren Perkins, but the intervening years have seen a dip in the scots fortune, culminating with his non selection for an individual event in Sydney. GIven this background Graeme’s performances in 2001 are even more remarkable. Having qualified for the 1500m at the Fukuoka world championships at the British Super Grand with a time that placed him 3rd in the world rankings and included a British record for the 800m as well, hopes were high for world medals. The results achieved were beyond what even the most optimistic of spectators would have predicted.

Graeme first smashed his own 800m record to win the bronze medal, being beaten only by the incomparable Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, but his performance in the 1500m really stood out. Refusing to be overawed by the incredible pace of Hackett, Smith swam his own race to put clear water between him and the remainder of the field to win the silver medal in a world class time of 14.58.94 to become the first Briton under the magical 15 minute barrier. We haven’t seen much of him in the current short course season, but he will undoubtedly be one of Scotland’s biggest hopes for a medal in this year’s Commonwealth games

full results

Below are the top six in each category as voted by you.


Graeme Smith, 26%


Darren Mew, 19%


James Hickman, 12%


Mark Foster, 7%


Robin Francis, 7%


James Gibson, 7%


Matt Kidd, 7%


Sarah Price, 60%


Nicola Jackson, 7%


Heidi Earp, 7%


Rebecca Cooke, 5%


Kirsty Balfour, 5%


Karen Pickering, 2%