SWIMMING: Pedder rewarded with British record

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The Independent Online
MARGARETHA PEDDER took the 100 metres butterfly title in fine style on the final day of the British Winter Championships in Sheffield last night.

The 19-year-old Portsmouth Northsea swimmer, who had already taken the 200m earlier in the championships, enjoyed the added bonus of setting a British record of 1min 17sec, slicing 0.16sec off the nine-year-old mark held by Madeline Scarborough.

"The 100m is an event I enjoy because it's not my best event and there is no pressure," Pedder said afterwards. "I have been working so long at the 200m and it's a bit strange that the 100m record has come before it."

The European champion, Paul Palmer, turned the tables on Jamie Salter of the City of Edinburgh club in the closing stages of the 400m freestyle. Palmer, the 6ft 5in tall University of Bath swimmer, recently lost his 400m British short- course record to Salter, so victory was sweet .

Salter led until the final 25 metres but the experienced Palmer, using his greater power, out-touched Salter by 0.02sec, winning in 3min 51.31sec.

Paul Belk, also from the University of Bath, can be well pleased with his winter nationals. He had already won the 50m title earlier in the meet and yesterday he added the 100m in 50.73, a personal best. His winning margin was a scant 0.03sec over Sion Brinn and Edinburgh's Jamie Salter, who were in a dead heat for second place.

James Hickman emerged from the championships with three golds after he won the men's 200m medley. His other victories were in the 100 and 200m butterfly earlier in the championships. The versatile City of Leeds swimmer was well outside his British record but too strong for his opponents.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Cooke from Reading turned in an impressive swim in the 800m freestyle. Unchallenged throughout, she came home in 8min 39.83sec to clear up the distance freestyle double.