Swimming: Hardcastle and Osher rule waves: Keller of Germany takes seven titles in Cardiff grand prix

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The Independent Online
HAT-TRICKS of victories by Sarah Hardcastle and Kathy Osher were still one less than Germany's Christian Keller at the Super Final of the Speedo British Grand Prix which ended in Cardiff yesterday.

Keller, the world-class swimmer from Essen, showed all-round ability in adding the 100 metres freestyle and the 200m medley to the 200m freestyle, 400m medley, 100 and 200m butterfly, in contest-record times.

He sped to a time of 2min 03.75sec in the medley and then produced enough speed to win the short freestyle in 51.07sec. In third place in the medley was Cardiff's own Chris Jones who set his second Welsh record of the meet with a swim of 2min 03.75sec.

Osher, from Barnet, swept all before her in the backstroke events. Her third victory came in the 50m where her time was 30.74sec.

Hardcastle, as expected, ruled the waves in the longer freestyle. Her hat- trick was completed in the 400m, for which she won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.

The Southend swimmer sets a shining example to those who are just starting out in their careers: she is never afraid of hard training or competition on which she thrives.

Paul Palmer lacked opposition in his 400m freestyle event. The Lincoln teenager ploughed a lonely furrow to win in 4:00.40; this gave him the distance freestyle category.

He then added the sprint freestyle title to take some pounds 600 back home with him.

Even victory in the 100m freestyle was not good enough to give Claire Huddart the sprint freestyle category victory. This went to Maxine Lock of Cardiff, who won the 50m distance on the previous day.