Swimming: Jackson falls flat in national test

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The Independent Online

The British record holder Nicola Jackson provided the big upset on the opening day of the British Championships in Manchester when she failed to qualify for the final of the 200 metres freestyle.

Jackson could only finish 10th overall in the heats, two places outside the final, in a disappointing time of two minutes 03.41 seconds. Karen Legg was the fastest qualifier in 2 minutes 01.41 seconds, with Karen Pickering and Georgina Lee just behind her. To compound Jackson's disappointment, this year the championships are acting as trials for the British team at the Commonwealth Games.

Four Australian swimmers returning from the World Short-course Championships in Moscow were forced to leave their plane in Thailand yesterday after falling ill on the flight home.

The four swimmers, Todd Pearson, Beau Mannix, Melanie Houghton and Nicole Irving, were taken to a Bangkok hotel after they became violently sick during their stopover in Asia.

"It's one of these bugs that takes between 12 and 14 hours to clear," an Australian team spokesman, Ian Hanson, said. "It goes away as quickly as it comes but when it hits you it knocks you down like nine pins."

Hanson explained that the four swimmers had contracted a virus while competing at the World Championships, where Australia finished on top of the medal count. Pearson later recovered sufficiently to rejoin the flight while the other three hope to be well enough to travel today. "It's been a difficult trip for everyone. Even when we were coming in to land in Sydney, the plane had a black-out, so I think it's fair to say we're all glad just to get home," Hanson added.