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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 July, 2003, 21:19 GMT 22:19 UK
Sexton realises gold dream
Katy Sexton
Sexton now has Olympic gold in her sights

Katy Sexton overcame a bout of nerves to become the first British female swimmer to win an individual gold medal at the World Championships.

The Portsmouth Northsea swimmer won the 200m backstroke title to add a gold medal to her silver in the 100m.

But she needed the enouragement of her coach to claim the first major gold for a British woman since Anita Lonsbrough took the Olympic 200m breaststroke title in 1960.

"I felt really nervous before the race but my coach (Chris Nesbit) told me I just had to believe in myself and on times I am the fastest so far this year.

"My aim this year has been to train for the 200m. I did not realise how close it was at the end. I just knew I had gone quickly and I was on cloud nine.

I just put my head down and went for it
Katy Sexton
"I had gone in as number two in both 100 and 200 so to get a silver and gold has been great but this is just a dress rehearsal for Athens next year.

"I can't ask for anything more than a gold medal, coming into the last turn I just put my head down and went for it."

Nesbit said Sexton still had room for improvement ahead of next year's Olympics.

"It's a fantastic result, we are looking to get closer to world records all the time and Olympic form," he said.

"It is belief more than anything. I think the ball is now rolling, what we need to do is to continue that and build to an Olympic level for the whole team."

I don't know if I have any clear emotion it's all just a blank
Ian Crocker
100m butterfly winner
Sexton was not the only medal success for Great Britain as Mark Foster claiming silver in the 50m freestyle and Rebecca Cooke taking bronze in the 800m freestyle.

But the major upset came in the 100m butterfly when American Ian Crocker surprised compatriot Michael Phelps.

Crocker was strong enough to hold off Phelps over the closing stages to record a time of 50.98 seconds.

"If you're going to swim again Michael in a final it's going to be decided on a world record," said the 20-year-old.

"I'm in shock. I turned around and saw the clock and thought they were mistaken.

"I don't know if I have any clear emotion it's all just a blank."

Katy Sexton
"I was so nervous"

Sexton strikes gold
26 Jul 03  |  Sport Homepage

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