Siobhan-Marie O'Connor smashes English record on way to swimming gold
Bath swimming star Siobhan-Marie O’Connor smashed her English record to win the 200m IM on day one of the inaugural British Gas International Meet in Leeds.
Coming home in 2mins 10.53secs, the 17-year-old led from start to finish to post the second fastest time in the world this year.
London 2012 Olympian Hannah Miley had to settle for silver in 2.11.59 and Sophie Allen, who moved her training to the British Gas ITC Bath last month, was third in 2.13.33.
“It is good to produce such a good time so early in the season, it gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year," said O'Connor, who is studying A-levels at Ralph Allen.
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“I’ve been training quite well and I’ve been to an altitude training camp. It was hard at first but I have really felt the benefits since I came back down.
“The good thing about the medley is that I get to train in all four strokes. Obviously I made the Olympics in the breaststroke but I want to keep my options open in terms of events for the future.”
Joe Roebuck, who also moved his training to Bath earlier this year, won the 100m fly in a new personal best time of 53.07 - despite being seventh at the turn.
“It was a PB so I am very happy with that, despite splitting my suit,” said Roebuck. “My priorities have changed and I’ve dropped the 400m IM.
“I will carry on looking towards to 200m IM and the Fly is obviously a big part of that.
“I’m really happy with how well things have moved on since I moved to Bath. I was at Loughborough for nine years and I felt like I needed a change, the move has freshened me up.”
Chris Walker-Hebborn dominated the 200m backstroke final, leading from the gun to take the title in 1.59.06.
Craig McNally of Warrender was second in 2.00.58 and Calum Jarvis, Walker-Hebborn's training colleague at the University of Bath, was third in 2.00.94.
“It was a tough first swim but I’m happy to take the win,” said the gold-medalist.
“My goal for the season is to make the world championship team. It will be a big ask as the time is tough but I believe it is in my capabilities.”
Paralympian Chloe Davies, who does some of her training at the University of Bath, won silver behind London 2012 champion Jessica-Jane Applegate in the MC 100m freestyle.
The 14-year-old, who clocked 1.04.41, also finished third in the MC 100m backstroke in 1.10.18.
The meet continues until Sunday.