By Nick Harris
21 February 2010
British swimmers hope to contribute significantly to the home medal tally at the 2012 London Olympics and they underlined their growing international status today by completing a two-day demolition of Germany in a head-to-head meeting in Swansea.
With Jazmin Carlin the breakthrough star of the show, Britain won 25 of the 36 races on the way to thrashing their visitors by 207 points to 109. The British team’s stated aim is to become the No3 nation in the world behind the US and Australia, and results like this weekend’s suggest a No1 ranking within Europe is not fanciful.
The Germans were without their freestyle sprint heroine Britta Steffen but fielded a strong squad including double world champion Paul Biedermann.
British women’s swimming in particular has been widely acknowledged to be in rude health and getting better ever since Rebecca Adlington took the Beijing Games by storm with freestyle gold medals in the 400m and 800m, with compatriot Jo Jackson winning bronze in the former.
Adlington and Jackson subsequently contested the fastest 400m race in history at the 2009 British championships, then won two and three medals respectively at the World Championships in Rome, with one each in the 4 x 200m free relay.
One of the relay quartet that day was Carlin, a 19-year-old from Wales, who won two races this weekend. Yesterday she won the 400m, with Jackson and Adlington in her wake in second and third, then today she won the 200m free, beating Jackson into second. In doing so, Carlin has underlined Britain’s immense strength in the women’s freestyle events.
“I am really happy with that race,” Carlin said after beating both her compatriot Olympic medallists in the 400m win. “I was really nervous before the start and I told my coach about my nerves and he said to just focus on my race. I knew that I had to swim my own race because both Jo and Becky are such strong swimmers I had to just do my own thing and I know what I can do and my race so I just tried to even split it and it worked. The home crowd helped with that race. This is my home pool and it was unusual to race in the pool but they were really behind us all the way.”
Great Britain v Germany, Swansea, 20-21 February 2010
Race winners (all GB unless stated)
Women 50 Back Lizzie Simmonds
Men 50 Back Liam Tancock
Women 400 IM Aimee Willmott
Men 400 IM Tom Haffield
Women 50 Breast Lowri Tynan
Men 50 Breast Henrik Felwehr (Ger)
Women 100 Free Fran Halsall
Men 100 Free Paul Biedermann (Ger)
Women 200 Back Lizzie Simmonds
Men 200 Back Lucien Hassdenteufel (Ger)
Women 100 Fly Jess Sylvester
Men 100 Fly Anthony James
Women 200 Breast Caroline Ruhnau (Ger)
Men 200 Breast Michael Jamieson
Women 400 Free Jazmin Carlin
Men 400 Free Paul Biedermann (Ger)
Women 400 Medley Relay GB: Simmonds, Tynan, Halsall, Smith
Men 400 Medley Relay GB: Tancock, Mew, James, Turner
Women 50m Fly Fran Halsall
Men 50 Fly Steffen Deibler (Ger)
Women 800 Free Becky Adlington
Men 1500 Free David Davies
Women 50 Free Fran Halsall
Men 50 Free Steffen Deibler (Ger)
Women 100 Back Lizzie Simmonds
Men 100 Back Liam Tancock
Women 200 Free Jazmin Carlin
Men 200 Free Paul Biedermann (Ger)
Women 100 Breast Caroline Ruhnau (Ger)
Men 100 Breast Michael Jamieson
Women 200 Fly Jess Dickons
Men 200 Fly Joe Roebuck
Women 200 IM Theresa Michalak (Ger)
Men 200 IM Yannick Lebherz (Ger)
Women 400 Free Relay GB: Halsall Simmonds, Wyld, Smith
Men 400 Free Relay GB: Turner, Davenport, Renwick, Tancock