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Britain's Mark Foster is looking for his first Olympic medal when he goes to his Games in Beijing

Who was the last British swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal?

As usual, the answer will come a little later in the countdown, but if you want a clue, it was not the man pictured above.

He is Mark Foster and, despite being one of the finest swimmers of his generation, he has never won an Olympic medal in 20 years of trying.

His best finish was sixth in the 50m freestyle at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

But, the oldest swimmer on the British team, at 38, is hoping it will be fifth time lucky in Beijing when he competes in the 50m freestyle.

He specialises in short course (25m pool) swimming, having won six gold, four silver and two bronze World Championship medals, and he is the current 50m freestyle British record-holder with a mark of 21.13 seconds, a time that also set the world best in 2001.

But he is no slouch in the Olympic 50m pool, having just become the first Brit to go under 22 seconds with a time of 21.96 last month in Zagreb.

That time would have been good enough for bronze in Athens four years ago, but Foster was not there following a much-publicised dispute with then GB swimming coach Bill Sweetenham.

Foster retired in 2006, but stunned British swimming by returning for the 2007 national championships and winning the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, despite doing little training.

And he made sure of his place on the British Olympics team by winning the 50m frestyle at the British Championships in April of this year.

But the question is, can he pull one more stunning performance out of the bag and win an elusive Olympic medal?

And the British gold medallist you are looking for is Adrian Moorhouse, who won the 100m breastroke title at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Peter Scrivener is a BBC Sport Journalist. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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