Jemma Lowe, 18 when she swam inside the Olympic qualifying standard in the 200m butterfly at British trials on Monday, axed 0.93sec off her national record in heats of the 100m butterfly, her 57.78sec effort catapulting her from 31st to 10th on the all-time ranking. The time is faster than the best efforts of the likes of Inge Dekker (NED) and Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL) and pushes the stunning 1981 effort of 57.93 by legendary Mary T Meagher one more place down history's path to 13th all-time.
Lowe had just watched her record fall in the heat before, to Francesca Halsall, 18 next week, in 58.44. 'That was brilliant,' said Lowe, who clocked a 57.62 split in the Britain medley relay that won the European crown in Eindhoven in the continent's first sub-4-minute swim. That had made her 'confident' of breaking her solo British record by a sizeable margin. 'I was a bit nervous but seeing as someone else stole my record in the heat before got me a bit angry but it also made me think 'oh no',' said Lowe through a smile.
There was a similar pattern in the men's 100m butterfly, Todd Cooper, of Stirling, slicing 0.03sec off his own British record in 52.43, before losing the mark to Michael Rock, Stockport, in 52.28.
The heats of the 200m breaststroke saw Kris Gilchrist, of Edinburgh, cruise into lane four in the final tomorrow morning in 2:10.82, with James Kirton, racing in his home Sheffield pool, the only other man to swim inside qualifying time, with a 2:12.93. The heats had an historic footnote: after almost 32 years, David Wilkie and his famous 2:15.11 slipped quietly out of the all-time top 10 British rankings.