The Tank marches on in Manchester
by Bob Ballard - BBC Sport (U11332323) 12 April 2008
It was not quite after the Lord Mayor’s Show - nothing could eclipse ‘fantastic Friday’ in the pool for Britain - but the haul of one silver and two bronze medals for the British team was their poorest return this week.
Can they top Friday night and make it a ‘Sensational Sunday’?
The British women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team had a scrap on their hands with the Dutch.
Fran Halsall, on her 18th birthday, had already qualified fastest for the 50m freestyle final, and she went on to blaze the trail over the opening 100m of the relay, setting a new British record of 52.36.
Ultimately, though, third is the best Halsall, Caitlin McClatchey, Julia Beckett and Mel Marshall could manage as Australia held them at bay for the silver. Gold was never in dispute from halfway as Marleen Veldhuis anchored the Dutch home in a world record time, taking almost a second and a half of the old mark.
No fairytale for Mark Foster today. Despite a decent start and a great turn in the final of the 50m butterfly, his lack of training on the stroke was his undoing as international medal number 48 disappeared in the splash and dash. He was only one tenth of a second away from bronze, but Foster got what he came for in the final of the 50m freestyle on Friday.
The last day is littered with medal prospects for Team GB. There are 11 finals, with potentially only two events - the men’s 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle - where there won’t be home interest.
Can the Brits top Friday night and make it a ‘Sensational Sunday’?
I’m looking forward to finding out as the M.E.N. Arena plays host to its biggest crowd of the week.
Will they leave wanting more? I’m sure we will.
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