Walker-Hebborn secures Olympic nomination

21 June 2012

University of Bath-based swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn became the latest Bath athlete to achieve the London 2012 Olympic qualifying standard when he struck gold at the ASA National Championships tonight (Thursday).

Walker-Hebborn won the 200m backstroke final at the championships in Sheffield in a season’s best time of 1:57.17. That was well inside the FINA A qualifying standard time of 1:58.48 and put him ninth in the world rankings.

It means Walker-Hebborn, who trains at the British Swimming Bath Intensive Training Centre at the University, will be nominated to the GB team for the Games. He now awaits selection by the British Olympic Association.

He dedicated his victory to his mum. “I’m relieved.  I wanted that so much,” he said. “It is an absolutely brilliant feeling, I’m so happy.

“That race was for my mum, she’s an absolute star. She has been there through everything and she’s my biggest believer, so that was for her.”

Three University of Bath-based swimmers have already been selected for the GB swimming team for the London 2012 Olympic Games following their British Championships performances in March. They are Michael Jamieson, Stacey Tadd and Andrew Willis.

Another Bath ITC swimmer Calum Jarvis, a University of Bath Sports Performance student, finished sixth in tonight’s final 200m backstroke final. He also came fifth in the 100m freestyle final.

Yesterday (Wednesday) 16-year-old Siobhan-Marie O’Connor successfully defended her 200m individual medley title with a personal best time that put her third in the all-time British rankings.

The British Swimming Bath ITC swimmer came home in 2:11.86, with University of Bath swimmer Stacey Tadd taking silver. Both London 2012 berths for that event are already taken – they were sealed at the British Championships.

University of Bath graduate Richard Webb won the 100m breaststroke final with University of Bath swimmer Andrew Willis coming second.

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The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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