IAN WILSON, representing Sunderland University, broke both the 400 metres and 1500m freestyle championship records at the British Universities Sports Federation Swimming Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, over the weekend, writes Tom Chesshyre.
Remarkably, it was in the 1500m freestyle final on Saturday that Wilson, who was fifth in the 1500m freestyle at the Barcelona Olympics, set both records. He then went on to beat his arch rival, Stephen Akers, by a narrow margin in an exciting 400m freestyle final the next day.
The BUSF Championships are considered an important qualifier for the World Student Games, which will be held at Buffalo, in the United States, this summer. Wilson, who won the 1500m freestyle gold at the last World Student Games in Sheffield in 1991, faces a dilemma over whether to compete in the World Student Games as well as the European Championships, which take place in Sheffield only two and a half weeks after the Games end.
He said: 'At the moment I'm toying with the idea of either doing both or concentrating on the Europeans. The problem is that all the travel will disrupt my training.'
Another outstanding performance came from Helen Gorman, of the University of Trent, who convincingly won the 200m breaststroke from Lucy Clarke, of Nottingham University, within the 'consideration time' for selection for the World Student Games. A final decision on who will go to Buffalo will be made on 13 June.
Both John Bradley and Clare Huddart, strong medal hopes for the summer, missed the championships to be with the British national team for a competition in Poland. Ian Armiger, the British team manager for the World Student Games, was disappointed by their absence. 'I don't feel let down,' he said. 'It's just an opportunity missed. This is a quality event at a quality venue.'
Loughborough University lived up to expectations to win both the men's and women's team events, beating Leeds University into second place in the men's event and Nottingham University into second in the women's.
The other finalists in our competition were Oliver Brett (Bristol University), Brian Hemmings (West Sussex Institute), Aaron Shearer (Kings Inns Dublin) and Kate Young (Cowes High School) in the reporters' section, and Mike Egerton (Swansea Institute), Joel Price (Cambridge University) and Matthew Smith (Cambridge University) in the photographers' section.
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