By Jamie Holt
Britain’s biggest swimming stars descended on the Manchester Aquatics Centre last week for the British Gas Swimming Championships.
With the opportunity to represent Great Britain at the World Championships in Shanghai in July up for grabs, competition was high.
Stockport Metro had a fantastic week, with James Goddard and Michael Rock winning two gold’s each – qualifying for Shanghai in the process.
Goddard took the 200m Individual Medley in 1:58.22 and followed that up with a dominant display in 200m backstroke on Thursday, finishing four seconds clear of his nearest challenger.
Manager of Manchester Aquatics Centre Simon Howcroft said that it is crucial they try to host high profile events like this every year.
“We try to showcase swimming so Manchester can benefit,” he said
Rock once again proved his supremacy in the butterfly events, winning both the 100m and 200m and fellow Stockport-based swimmer Keri-Anne Payne took eight seconds off Rebecca Cooke’s eight-year-old British 1500m Freestyle record as she stormed to gold on Monday in 16:06.67.
Outside of local interests, Manchester swimming fans saw double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington in top form, as she finished the meet with three gold medals and her place firmly secured for Shanghai, after winning 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events over the week.
World record holder for the 50m backstroke Liam Tancock added another national title to his collection in the discipline, as well as claiming a second gold and setting the fastest time in the world this year for the 100m backstroke.
Mr Howcroft said: “It allows the people of Manchester to see top swimmers they normally wouldn’t be able to.”