Swimmers aim to add to GB medal heritage

25 July 2012 / 19:52

Between 1972 and 1992 British men's swimmers claimed seven Olympic medals in the breaststroke.

David Wilkie has been the most successful exponent with a gold and two silver medals across the 1972 and 1976 Games.

Duncan Goodhew and Adrian Moorhouse lifted the 100m title in 1980 and 1988 respectively, while Nick Gillingham claimed silver and bronze over four lengths in Korea and also in 1992. Since then, Gillingham, James Gibson and Darren Mew have all reached finals to maintain a tradition of the event in this country.

At last year's World Championships in Shanghai, Britain had two representatives in the 200m final, Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis finishing fifth and eighth respectively. Both men will compete in London while Jamieson will join 18-year-old World Youth champion Craig Benson in the 100m after Daniel Sliwinski was forced to withdraw.

After his fifth-place finish last year, Bath-based Jamieson is targeting a medal at the Aquatics Centre and believes he will have to swim in the region of two minutes eight seconds if he is to make the podium. The fastest in 2012 is Kosuke Kitajima's 2:08.00, a textile world record set at the Japanese Olympic trials.

The Glasgow-born swimmer's current best is 2mins 09.84secs, meaning he will have to dramatically clip his time if he is to be a contender.

He told Press Association Sport: "I'm going there to win medals, definitely. It's obviously going to be a huge task, especially with the way some of the other guys around the world have been swimming this year. So, I have to be prepared to swim a time that will be in the mix but I think I am capable of a time like that."

Kitajima won the breaststroke double at both Athens and Beijing and he could make history by becoming the first man to twice successfully defend a swimming title, although he could be beaten to that accolade by Michael Phelps who defends his 400m individual medley gong on the first night.

Jamieson said: "Given the times he posted at the Japanese Olympic trials I dont think there is any doubt of what the guy is capable of. He is the best breaststroker of all time but someone has to beat him eventually and I think the stage is set for him to cement his place in history.

"But there is going to be seven other guys in the mix with him in the final that are going to be looking to put their names in the history books."