Sheffield swimming: Brown breaks record

Adam Brown last night broke Mark Foster’s five-year 50 metres freestyle British record at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Sheffield despite having to struggle along in the United States with no funding.

It was a stand-out performance on the first night of the meet which acts as the trials for the World Championships to be held in Barcelona next month.

Brown’s record was one of two national marks with Daniel Sliwinski, who missed the Olympics with a shoulder injury, bringing down Darren Mew’s 50m breaststroke record.

Foster’s record was set in June 2008 in the shiny-suit era - although not at its peak - but it also represents a triumph for self-belief, drive and determination as well as a love of the sport.

After lowering Foster’s mark by four hundredths of a second in 21.92 seconds, Brown said: “Finally! The first time I went under 22 (seconds) for a long time.

“I am really chuffed, training has been going really well and I am really pumped with that one.”

Brown returned from Auburn University, Alabama, to train in Britain ahead of the Olympics under Nick Juba at Hatfield and after the Games he got married to his American wife Mary and decided to return to the United States.

However, any funding was cut following the Olympics.

Instead, he helps run swim clinics for children most weekends and on those he has off, Brown visits his wife who runs an equestrian business from her home in Birmingham, Alabama - a two and a half hour drive from Auburn.

Brown said: “Hopefully moving forward they (British Swimming) will be able to help me, it’s a question I have to sit down and talk to the guys about and take it from there.”

Fran Halsall and Amy Smith booked their places on the women’s equivalent although the former revealed she may focus on the 50m freestyle and butterfly in Barcelona and forego the 100m free.

Robbie Renwick and Daniel Fogg were the first to book their places on the pool team, subject to ratification, when they both dipped inside the qualifying standard in the 400m freestyle.

Renwick has already competed in three World Championships and two Olympics despite being only 24 and he led from start to finish today to win in 3:47.02, 0.52secs ahead of Fogg for whom yesterday saw him improve by more than three and a half seconds.

Sliwinski also set a British mark in the 50m breaststroke in 27.40 although he has no plans to compete in Barcelona but will instead continue to use this season to build after his previous problems.

Tonight will see double Olympic finalist Jemma Lowe in the 200m butterfly final, Lizzie Simmonds goes in the 200m backstroke while Chris Walker-Hebborn leads the way in the 100m backstroke.

Jazmin Carlin is the clear favourite in the 800m freestyle which will stand out because of the glaring absence of former Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.

Jonathan Fox set a new Paralympic world record of 1:09.52 in the S7 100m backstroke.