Swimming: Tait leaves Goddard behind to claim backstroke double in record time

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The Independent Online

Gregor Tait refused to look ahead to Beijing yesterday, even after setting a Commonwealth record in the 200 metres backstroke at the Olympic trials in Sheffield. The 28-year-old added the 200m title to the 100m he won earlier this week, beating James Goddard into second in 1min 56.67sec.

The City of Edinburgh swimmer set a British record in Wednesday night's heat which was overshadowed by Liam Tancock's 50m backstroke world record set on the first length of the race. Asked about his Olympic chances, Tait said: "I'll start thinking about that when it is all finished."

Swimmers must achieve the Olympic qualifying time in the heats and then finish in the top two in the final. Yesterday morning Tait, Goddard and the European 100m junior champion Marco Loughran were fighting for two Olympic places. Goddard, who set a Commonwealth record in the 200m individual medley on Wednesday, went out quickly but Tait responded and at halfway they were level. Tait then pulled ahead.

"I did it a bit differently today," he said. "I had the confidence and was not worried; I just wanted to get in there. I am quite impressed with that – I must be the oldest swimmer getting personal bests. It is always good to have him [Goddard] there because he helps me and I help him."

Kate Haywood held off the world 200m silver medallist Kirsty Balfour to take the 100m breaststroke title in 1:07.84. That time is more than two and a half seconds behind that set by Australia's Leisel Jones, but Haywood said: "We are getting there. She is still pretty far ahead but people are going to catch her eventually."

Hannah Miley confirmed her place, with Keri-Anne Payne, in the 200m individual medley. She could not beat the British record she set on Wednesday, finishing in 2:02.17. Fran Halsall made up for losing her 100m freestyle title and British record to Caitlin McClatchey by winning the 50m. The 17-year-old was half a length ahead in 24.79sec

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