Rolph in form for medal quest

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Susan Rolph will be determined to make up for her winter's frustrations when she leads Britain's medal quest at the World Short-Course Championships in Gothenburg in April.

The versatile 18-year-old has been in fine form during recent months. She leads the world 200 metres individual medley rankings, won the 100m and 200m medley titles at the European Short-Course Championships in Rostock in Germany in December and finished runner-up in the medley category during the World Cup series in January and February.

Yet that list of impressive achievements disguises a number of disappointments for the Newcastle-based sports science student. At Rostock, Rolph's winning time in the 200m medley of 2min 10.60sec equalled the European "best time" set by East Germany's Petra Schneider in 1982, and should have earned her a bonus of pounds 2,000 which was on offer for record-breakers at the championship.

However, European Swimming League officials decided not to award Rolph the prize-money, nor register her time as a record, claiming that their rules stated that "best times" had to be bettered, not equalled, in order to be recognised.

Then, during the World Cup series, Rolph was unbeaten over 100m and 200m medleys but, because she did not compete in one of the required "off-Continent" meets in either Hong Kong or Peking, Rolph only acquired enough points to finish joint runner-up in the overall medley rankings behind Sabine Herbst of Germany.

However, with her Rostock time of 2:10.60 still leading the world rankings, Rolph must feel she has every chance of making up for those disappointments in Gothenburg.