Consolation for Hickman in relay

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Swimming

James Hickman shrugged off his disappointment at coming fourth in the 100 metres butterfly to help Britain's 4x100m medley relay team win a bronze medal at the World Short-Course Championships in Gothenburg last night.

Hickman carried the medley squad past their British record to finish third, only losing the silver medal by five-hundredths of a second to the Russians as they reduced the record they set in the heats by nearly three seconds.

Hickman and the freestyle expert Mark Foster played key roles as Britain gradually reined in their rivals after lying seventh following Martin Harris' backstroke leg. Britain were fourth after Richard Maden had swum the breaststroke leg, handing over to Hickman, who virtually sealed the bronze . Foster was just unable to catch his Russian rival as he brought the team home in 3min 32.61sec as Australia took gold in a world record of 3:30.60.

Hickman had gone into his individual final - which was missing Russia's world record holder, Denis Pankratov, after he had surprisingly failed to qualify - with the third-quickest time. But despite again lowering his own British record, this time taking it down by .12sec to 52.22sec, he missed out on a medal by two-tenths of a second.

The race ended in confusion. Australia's Michael Klim was placed first in a world record 50.95sec but, as the Swedish crowd jeered, the timings were changed giving Lars Frolander, a local swimmer, victory in a championship best of 51.95sec. Klim was then placed third.

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