Swimming: Turner ready for battle in defence of her British title

Rebecca Turner after winning Women's 200m Freestyle last year during the British Gas Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, London.
Rebecca Turner after winning Women's 200m Freestyle last year during the British Gas Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, London.
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Rotherham’s Rebecca Turner says she’s ready for a battle at this week’s British Championships at Ponds Forge.

Turner, who competed for Great Britain at 200 metres freestyle and the 100 and 200 relays at the Olympic Games last year, starts her quest for a place at next month’s World Championships in Barcelona with the 50m freestyle today.

But while the 50m will be a test to see what kind of form she’s in the 200m, which begins tomorrow, and the 100m later in the week will provide the 20-year-old with the chance to shine.

She told The Star: “The 200m is my main focus. There’s quite a strong field and we have four girls who could all make the relay team qualification.

“To reach Barcelona I have to beat one minute 57.8 seconds. My personal best is 1:57.6 so I know I can do it.

“It will be tough but it is definitely gettable and hopefully I’ll do it.”

Turner will be up against fellow City of Sheffield swimmers Ellie Faulker and Laura Whitaker but the most likely challenge to the title she won last year will come from Edinburgh’s Caitlin McClatchey, Swansea’s Jaz Carlin and Hannah Miley, who races for Garioch in Aberdeenshire.

Turner said: “I think the 200m will be one of the best races of the week with the field that has entered. Caitlin will be there and Jaz has been in great form.”

There are plenty of City of Sheffield swimmers in action today. Nicholas Grainger, Tom Sunter and Matthew Johnson aim to qualify this morning for final of the 400m freestyle tonight.

Isobel Grant is in the 200m butterfly heats with a potential semi-final later. Mbeh Tanji begins his 50m breaststroke bid - semis and final this evening.

Turner and Whitaker are in the 50m freestyle, Johnson goes again in the 200m butterfly alongside Rotherham’s Joe Roebuck, David Gregory in the 100m backstroke and Faulkner in the 800m heats.

* Heats start at 9.15am with the finals at 5.40pm. The Championships run from Wednesday until Sunday.