The pool at Ponds Forge provides deep water of equal depth, ensuring fast times, for the National Winter Championships, which are held over the 25-metre short-course distance. In fact, the facilities at Sheffield so impressed Sarah Hardcastle that she makes her comeback today in the 400 metres freestyle after a six-year absence. The Southend swimmer retired at 16 in 1986, having won Olympic Games silver and bronze medals at Los Angeles in 1984, a bronze at the the World Championships in Madrid in 1986 and two Commonwealth Games golds in Edinburgh the same year. Hardcastle, who holds the British 400 and 800 metres freestyle records, also swims tomorrow and Sunday.
How to get there: Ponds Forge Sports Centre, Sheaf Street, is in Sheffield city centre. Admission: pounds 4.50 (all day), pounds 3 (finals) adults; children/OAps half-price. Today and tomorrow: heats at 9am, finals 2.15pm. On Sunday: 9am and 2.30pm. (Tel: 0742-789199).Reuse content