O'Connor records lifetime best
June 22, 2012 20:41 pm
Siobhan-Marie O'Connor served up further evidence of a bright future for Britain when she became the baby of the swimming team, taking the second slot in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.
The 16-year-old was deeply hurt at missing out on qualification for Team GB in the 200m individual medley, in which she is European junior champion, at the first Olympic trials in March.
The disappointment, though, galvanised the Bath ITC swimmer, who responded by qualifying with victory in 1:08.04 - an improvement of more than a second on her best before the meet.
For O'Connor, London will be her second global meet after she finished 13th in the medley at last year's World Championships at the grand old age of 15. Following Friday's display, she was overwhelmed and close to tears, saying: "I am so shocked. It is the happiest I've ever been.
"It was hard after the disappointment in March to get back and get motivated. I could never see myself going for this at the start of the year. I like the event but I was focusing on the 200IM but after trials there was that slot so I just gave it my everything in training, focused on breaststroke to try to bounce back.
"I just thought 'you've got nothing to lose' and I just can't believe it. With qualifying for worlds last year there was so much pressure on me, I put pressure on myself (at the first trials).
"It just really hurt me, I wanted it so much after that, after trials I needed to get back and wanted to prove myself I could do it."
Florida-based Stephanie Proud joined Lizzie Simmonds on the team for the 200m backstroke with a dominant victory in 2:09.40 while Chris Walker-Hebborn added the 100m backstroke to his programme after qualifying over 200m last night with a 54.26 win.
Highly-rated 17-year-old Matthew Johnson came from fourth at the final turn to win the 400m individual medley (4:18.28) - although both slots were taken in March, while Adam Brown's 50m freestyle victory in 22.36 was not enough to add an individual event to his place on the sprint relay squad.
Amy Smith took the women's equivalent (25.36) which she and Fran Halsall will contest in London. Daniel Broady won the non-Olympic 50m breaststroke in 28.97.
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