Commonwealth Games 2002
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Swimming Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Goddard takes backstroke title
England's James Goddard was a surprise winner in the men's 200m backstroke
Goddard had qualified third slowest for the final

England's James Goddard stunned the swimming world by picking up Commonwealth gold in the men's 200m backstroke.

The Stockport swimmer managed to hold off the challenge of the much-fancied Scotland star Gregor Tait, while another Englishman, Simon Miltis, took bronze.

"I think everyone had a chance of gold after Welsh was disqualified," said Goddard.

open quote
I think we've given the Aussies a scare
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James Goddard

"I'm glad I could contribute to Team England's medals."

Goddard, who began in lane two after qualifying third slowest, got off to a flyer and led after the first 50m.

The expected challenge from Keith Ryan Beavers, the fastest qualifier, failed to emerge, but Tait certainly took it upon himself to make Goddard work hard.

By the 150m mark, Tait, Goddard and Militis were almost level, but it was 19-year-old Goddard who moved through the gears to win by a length in a time of 1:59.83.

Tait finished in 2.00.53 while Miltis touched home in 2.01.04.

Earlier, Australian Matt Welsh, the outstanding favourite for the race, was disqualified in his heat for moving at the start.

James Goddard
"I can't quite believe it"

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