Swimming: Ruckwood races away with record

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ADAM RUCKWOOD broke the British 200 metres backstroke record at the Optrex National Winter Championships in Sheffield yesterday.

The 18-year-old from Birmingham powered home to win in 1min 57.57 secs, taking 0.76sec off the time set earlier this year by Portsmouth's Grant Robins.

Sarah Hardcastle, back in competitive swimming after a six-year break, once again proved to be a class above her rivals in winning the 800m freestyle. Her time of 8:41.36 was more than five seconds faster than that of the runner-up, Newcastle's Sam Foggo.

Barnet's Mark Foster and Warrington's Helen Slatter brought their wins in the championships to four each. Foster yesterday added the 100m butterfly to his earlier successes in the 50m butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle events.

Slatter won the 100m backstroke and 200m butterfly to add to her victories in the 200m and 400m medley events.