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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 22:14 UK

Lizzie Simmonds upstages Gemma Spofforth at GB trials

British Swimming Championships 2010
29 March-3 April Venue: Ponds Forge, Sheffield
Coverage: Listen live on BBC 5 live sports extra, watch daily highlights on this website

Simmonds sees off Spofforth at GB trials

Lizzie Simmonds produced a superb swim to beat world champion Gemma Spofforth in the 100m women's backstroke at the British Championships in Sheffield.

The 19-year-old led from start to finish to touch in 59.43 sec, 0.03 ahead of world record holder Spofforth.

"Times like that mean you are up with the best in the world," said Simmonds.

Fran Halsall retained her 100m women's freestyle title and Paralympic champion Sascha Kindred broke the 100m butterfly world record for his category.

Kindred, from Leominster, took almost five seconds off the previous mark, with a time of one minute 11.75 seconds.

World silver medallist Halsall, from Liverpool, lost a pair of goggles before holding off Amy Smith in a time of 54.71 seconds at Ponds Forge.

And Halsall was back in the water just six minutes later to qualify for Thursday's 100m women's butterfly final.

"We asked if it [time between races] could be a bit more, maybe do an interview or something to help me out," said the 19-year-old after finishing the butterfly in a time of one minute 00.93 seconds, five places behind British record holder Ellen Gandy.

Coming second, third or fourth really motivates me

Gemma Spofforth

"I've had all sorts of issues - my goggles went missing suspiciously yesterday so I haven't been able to see where I've been going for the last two races.

"In the fly I had to breathe with every stroke for the last 50m just to be able to tell where I was going. It's been a nightmare."

The highlight of the evening was the duel between Simmonds and Spofforth, who finished with the second and third fastest times in the world in 2010.

And double World Championship finalist Simmonds described her victory - bettering her personal best by 0.12secs - as one of the highlights of her promising career.

"To have a racer like that in the lane next to you is the best experience you can possibly have," said Simmonds.

"To be next to the world record holder I just really enjoyed it. It was a fantastic race for me, it was all about getting in there and enjoying it and doing the best I could.

"Times like that just mean you are up with the best in the world at this point and hopefully we can go to Europeans and Commonwealths and do the job."

Spofforth won 100m backstroke gold at the World Championships in Rome last year, but finished fourth in the 200m backstroke event.

The 22-year-old, who led the University of Florida Gators to victory in the NCAA Championships in the US, believes her disappointments can driver her towards success.

"Coming second, third or fourth really motivates me," she said. "I have a picture of me losing out in Rome as my screensaver.

"Hopefully we can use that as motivation and come back later on."

BBC Sport's Ollie Williams

James Goddard won a thrilling duel in the men's 200m backstroke to reclaim his title from Chris Walker-Hebborn.

The former Commonwealth champion held off his 19-year-old opponent to touch in one minute 57.06secs, 0.33 ahead of Walker-Hebborn as both men recorded the second and third best times in the world this year.

But Goddard believes he has the potential to become the world's fastest in the event.

"There is something inside which knows I can go faster," he said. "I am chuffed with that time but I know I can go faster."

Elsewhere, Stacey Tadd beat Hannah Miley to win the 200m breaststroke in two minutes 29.66secs, Ian Hulme won the 50m butterfly in 24.22secs while Kris Gilchrist took the 100m breaststroke in one minute 01.22.

World 50m backstroke record holder Liam Tancock withdrew from the 100m men's freestyle semi-finals after recording the second best time in the world this year with 48.80secs in the morning's heats, a performance which should cement a relay spot.

National record holder Simon Burnett was fastest for Thursday's final in 49.46secs.

The qualifying procedure for the Commonwealths, to be held in India, differs according to nation.

Swimmers winning finals in Sheffield will almost certainly appear at October's Games in Delhi, but the selection process for the Commonwealths will be completed by the European Championships and individual English, Welsh and Scottish national trials at different dates in the summer.

A separate process applies in Northern Ireland.

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