Siobhan-Marie O'Connor and Carlin continue Bath gold rush
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor got the better of World and European champion Katinka Hosszu as she struck gold during another successful evening for University of Bath-based swimmers at the Mare Nostrum Series in Barcelona.
Jazz Carlin won her second gold of the meeting, and her fourth of the week, in the 400m freestyle and Chris Walker-Hebborn followed up his previous day’s 50m backstroke gold with a hard-fought silver in the 100m race.
O’Connor – coached by Dave McNulty at British Swimming’s Bath National Training Centre – also finished the meeting with two medals, adding 200m individual medley gold to the 200m freestyle silver she won on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old, who is Commonwealth champion in the IM, led from start to finish to claim victory in 2:09.56 ahead of US swimmer Melanie Margalis and Hungary’s Hosszu.
“I am really pleased,” said O’Connor, who will act as official starter of the annual Olympic Day Run during the Team Bath Community Activity Day on Saturday, June 20.
“I had that performance in my mind – that was what I wanted to do but I didn’t know if I could. I hope I can now dig deep in the last couple of months before [the World Championships in] Kazan.”
In-form Carlin led from the outset of the 400m freestyle, making a decisive break at the halfway stage, to secure her latest gold medal in 4:06.97, finishing ahead of China’s Fuwei Dong and fellow Brit Hannah Miley.
Walker-Hebborn had to stretch every sinew in the closing stages of the 100m backstroke to take silver in 54.26, three-hundredths of a second ahead of Japan’s Masaki Kaneko. Ryosuke Irie won gold in 53.23.
“My confidence is really high, I am just trying to keep it rolling,” said Walker-Hebborn, who won silver and bronze at the Mare Nostrum event in Canet, France last weekend.
“I am pretty tired because training has been going really hard but the consistency has been good. The back end and turns have been good but the speed is not there yet.”
Lizzie Simmonds added a 200m backstroke bronze medal to the 100m silver she had won on Wednesday when she touched the wall in 2:10.14 behind Hosszu and Canada’s Hilary Caldwell.
And Michael Jamieson – who will officially open the University of Bath’s newly-refurbished London 2012 Legacy Pool on Tuesday – bagged a second 200m breaststroke bronze medal of the week in 2:11.42.
The Mare Nostrum Series concludes in Monaco on Saturday and Sunday.