Ellie Faulkner hopes she has already done enough to earn herself a plane ticket to Barcelona at the British Gas Swimming Championships, although she is not about to take her foot off the pedal in Sheffield just yet.
In what was billed as a straight shootout between the two City of Sheffield swimmers Faulkner and Rebecca Turner last night in the 200m freestyle final, Anne Bochmann looked like spoiling the party as she led for the three of the four laps.
But in the final 50m Faulkner and Turner came to the fore with the former just edging out her team-mate in 1:58.42 minutes – fresh from swimming a personal best in the 800m freestyle.
However, despite winning the race the time was outside the qualifying standard needed to swim in the same event at this summer’s World Championships in Barcelona.But Faulkner hopes she has done enough to at least earn herself a relay spot, although she is still going hammer and tongs at Pond’s Forge with the 400m and 1500m still to come.
“It feels amazing to have won the 200m freestyle,” she said. “I just went into the 200m free hoping to get 4x200m relay spot. I went into it with a gold or bust attitude and came out with gold so that is great. It would mean a lot to me to reach the World Championships. My first senior international was London 2012 and I have never been to World Championships so would be amazing if I can make it.
“But I still have more racing to go in Sheffield and Jazz [Carlin] is on form right now so we will have to fight it out for 400m.
“With Becky [Adlington] retiring we will do what we can to step up and fill the void.”
Turner hopes her time of 1:58.88 is also good enough for a relay berth.
“I gave my absolute best and couldn’t have done any more,” said Turner, who finished half-a-second faster than Faulkner in the semi-finals. “It is a shame not to win but hopefully it was enough for a spot on the 4x200m relay team.”
*This year British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a programme to create a healthier nation and get 500,000 people swimming more regularly by 2015. Visit www.swimbritain.co.uk/challenge