O'Connor sets sights on world domination after 200m IM gold

16 April 2015 / 21:36

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has set her sights on a podium spot at this summer's World Championships after claiming an impressive 200m individual medley gold at the British Swimming Championships.

Two year ago in Barcelona O'Connor showed her promise when she made the final of the event but couldn't make a dent into the field as she finished eighth.

This time, however, she is hoping things will be different and on the evidence of her performance at the London Aquatics Centre she may well be right.

In a field that included Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott it was O'Connor who was dominant, finishing in 2:09.51minutes – well inside the 2:10.20 needed to book her spot in Russia this summer.

Miley pushed hard and came home in 2:11.65 for second and there was a bronze for Willmott but O'Connor shone and is now targeting a summer to remember.

“It is different challenges for me this year. At the last World Championships I was a bit disappointed with how I swam,” said O'Connnor.

“I made a final but not through my own right really, this year I want to go there and try to perform a bit better. A medal would be nice as well.

“I am really pleased, the times were a massive challenge, everyone has felt that and it just means that we really have to step it up. 

"It was a challenge but I am just very happy to make that team, and hopefully I can now build and improve a bit for the summer.

“That last 50m was really tough, I didn’t feel great but I am happy with that time, I was just aiming to go under 2:10.”

There was victory in the 1500m freestyle for Stephen Milne as he produced a strong swim to post 14:58.25 – the only athlete in the field to go below 15 minutes.

But this was a night where Britain's women showed their prowess with the ever-impressive Jazmin Carlin taking her second title of the meet with 800m freestyle gold added to her 400m medal from Wednesday.

It was another dominant performance from the European champion who blew the field away to touch the wall in 8:21.58 – Jessica Thielmann, the closest challenger, more than ten seconds behind.

“It felt a bit tough tonight, I didn’t really feel like I got into it and I felt quite heavy in my stroke,” said Carlin.

“But I mean that’s what happens, I was really happy with how yesterday went and it was a bit of relief to just go out and swim it today.

“It feels harder when I haven’t got anyone pushing me, I’m definitely not a speed swimmer so I really find it hard to get out fast.

“But it was a great race, I would have liked to have gone faster but I just need to get myself ready for the 200m.”

And there was also success for Lizzie Simmonds who held on for victory in a closely-contested 100m backstroke final.

Simmonds clocked 1:00.03 for gold but was pushed all the way by Lauren Quigley who was was 0.13 seconds behind and Fran Halsall who finished in 1:00.29.

“It was all about having a good race tonight really, the qualifying time would have been nice to get but that’s on my best time from a few years back so I knew it would be tough,” said Simmonds.

“I just tried to keep my head at the right moment, I was in the middle lane which sometimes I struggle with because you can get caught up in the race.

“I had some incredible sprinters either side of me in Fran Halsall and Lauren Quigley so it was always going to be about doing my own race and my own swim.”

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