Jackson and Simmonds get back to their best at National Championships

The scene is set: The competition pool during the ASA National Championships at Ponds Forge .       Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
The scene is set: The competition pool during the ASA National Championships at Ponds Forge . Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
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PONDS Forge provided the perfect setting for the return to form of Olympic 400metres freestyle bronze medallist Jo Jackson and European 200m backstroke champion Lizzie Simmonds.

Both qualified for the World Championships in Shanghai with impressive victories at the British Gas ASA National Championships last night.

Jackson produced a powerful swim in the 200m freestyle while Simmonds was a clear winner in the 100m backstroke as both swimmers responded to the disappointment of not qualifying for the World Championships in Shanghai at the first trials in Manchester in March.

Jackson produced her fastest time for two years as she held off the challenge of former double Commonwealth champion Caitlin McClatchey to touch in one minute 58.32 seconds.

For the past 18 months ill-health and asthma have blighted Jackson’s career.

She said: “This time last year I didn’t think it would happen.

“It has been really hard but I put in a lot of effort these last few months changing so much and its definitely starting to pay off.”

World record holder Liam Tancock eased to victory in the 50m backstroke in 25.05.