Swimming Billington's birthday treat

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The Independent Online
Helen Billington celebrated her 21st birthday in style last night by winning her first senior title at the ASA National Championships at Crystal Palace in a personal best 8min 48.08sec for the 800m freestyle.

But the St Helens swimmer, runner-up at last April's European Championship trials but outside the qualifying time of 8min 46.36sec, again missed that mark. Linda Hindmarsh missed the 200m breast-stroke qualifying time by just over one second when easily retaining her title in 2min 33.51sec. Stephen Parry now has four wins out of four butterfly races with the double British record holder, James Hickman. Parry set the pace throughout, finishing in 2min 00.33sec, almost one second ahead of the world short course champion. Mark Foster, the former world short course champion and record holder for the 50m freestyle, failed to win a place in the final of the 100m freestyle after his morning swim of 53.52sec placed him thirteenth.

Rolph's medley of motion, page 21

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