Swimming: Rolph raises expectations

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SUE ROLPH sent a message to her rivals for the forthcoming European Championships when she broke her Commonwealth and British 100 metres freestyle record at the National Championships in Sheffield yesterday.

Rolph lowered the mark to 55.05sec on the second day of the event to become the first Briton to gain pre-selection for next year's Sydney Olympics. The 21-year-old Commonwealth champion from Newcastle cut 0.12sec off her previous best to retain the national title.

Great Britain's last gold medal in the women's events at the European Championships was in 1962, but with Rolph showing this kind of form that record should change in Turkey next month. She said: "I wanted to go under 55 seconds but I can't complain. I'm really happy getting a pre- selection time [for the Olympics]. It means I don't have to worry about the trials next year. I just have to swim fast."

Coventry's Adam Whitehead continued his winning form when he added the 100m breaststroke title to the 50m he took on the opening day.

The 19-year-old Commonwealth 200m bronze medallist came home in 1min 2.85sec to push Darren Mew, the defending champion who swims for the University of Bath, into second place 0.13sec behind.

Results, Digest, page 31

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