Swim chief's praise for GB men

National performance director Michael Scott has been encouraged by the performances of the men at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

With the exception of Liam Tancock and David Davies, it is the women who have been prominent in recent years thanks to the success of the likes of Rebecca Adlington, Joanne Jackson, Gemma Spofforth, Francesca Halsall and Keri-Anne Payne.

However, Scott believes there were encouraging signs at the competition at Ponds Forge which ended on Saturday, pointing to Adam Brown and Roberto Pavoni, who both stepped up to claim national titles.

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The British Swimming national performance director said: "These things tend to be cyclical, I've seen it in Australia.

"I'm sure you're starting to see the trend start to reverse.

"Whilst the girls are stronger in terms of world rankings I'm starting to see some improvement in the men.

"I think the men are rising to the challenge."

World 50metres backstroke champion Tancock swam the fastest 100m backstroke in history in a textile suit when he blasted home in 52.85 seconds on Friday, much to the delight of Scott.

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"I think the best performance was Liam Tancock," said Scott.

"The females raised the bar and our job is to make the males go with them and we art starting to see that.

"The men's performances this week have been good."

Double Olympic champion Adlington believes the women have enjoyed success after they gained momentum as a group and she also feels the men are at the forefront.

She said: "We're just catching up the boys."

The event ended with Hannah Miley and Ellen Gandy defending their titles in the 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly, respectively.

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Simon Burnett won the 50m freestyle, Michael Jamieson claimed the 200m breaststroke title and Daniel Fogg was crowned 1,500m freestyle champion in a race in which 14-year-old City of Sheffield prospect Matthew Johnson was third.