Shropshire Star

Oliver Morgan sets new British backstroke record to seal Olympics spot

Morgan finished well inside the Olympic qualifying time.

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Oliver Morgan set a new British men’s 100 metre backstroke record to qualify for the Paris Olympics as he retained his title on the second day of the British Championships in London.

The 20-year-old University of Birmingham swimmer, also defending his British 50m and 200m backstroke titles at the London Aquatics Centre, clocked 52.70 seconds to break the previous record set by Liam Tancock 15 years ago.

Morgan finished well inside the Olympic qualifying time to take gold ahead of second-placed Jonathon Marshall and Luke Greenbank.

“If you asked me two years ago if I would be in this position I’d have said there’s no way,” Morgan, who did not start competing at national level until he was 16, said of his rapid rise afterwards.

“I can’t put it into words. It proves you don’t have to be there as a youngster. I did what I enjoyed when I was young. I played football and mountain biked.”

Amelie Blocksidge retained her women’s 1500m freestyle title at the age of 14.

Amelie Blocksidge retained her British 1500m freestyle title, aged 14
Amelie Blocksidge retained her British 1500m freestyle title, aged 14 (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Blocksidge, 15 next week, finished three seconds outside her personal best in 16.13:39 and well adrift of the Olympic qualification time, ahead of Loughborough University pair Fleur Lewis and Lucie Hanquet.

Scotland’s Kara Hanlon swam a new lifetime’s best of 2:24.59 after a strong finish to win the women’s 200m breaststroke crown ahead of Somerset’s Lily Booker.

Hanlon’s fellow Scot Kathleen Dawson put her injury woes behind her by winning the 100m backstroke title in an Olympic qualifying time to seal her place for Paris.

Joshua Gammon won gold in the men’s 200m butterfly in a new personal best of 1.56:95, just outside the Olympic qualifying time, with University of Aberdeen’s Thomas Beeley taking silver and Henry Gray finishing third.

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