Olympic spots up for grabs in Sheffield

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Some of Britain’s top swimmers are fighting for Olympic places at the 2012 British Gas ASA National Championships which take place in Sheffield this week.

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre will play host to the prestigious event, which began yesterday and runs until Saturday.

With 38 places already secured on Team GB, all the coveted remaining places will be snapped up during the four-day championships.

Top names expected to take part include Rebecca Adlington, Kerri-Anne Payne and Sheffield’s own Ellie Faulkner, who have already earned places at London 2012 but will still be battling it out for top spots in the competition.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of Sheffield International Venues, which manages Ponds Forge, said: “Sheffield is playing a key role in the run-up to London 2012 and this prestigious national event further highlights our involvement in the Games.

“Ponds Forge and indeed the city as a whole has developed an excellent reputation for staging both national and international competitions and the fact that the remaining places for Team GB’s swimming squad will be secured here in Sheffield is fantastic.

“We are extremely proud to have Ellie Faulkner, Rebecca Turner and James Crisp, who all train at Ponds Forge, already qualified for London 2012 and we look forward to seeing them do our country proud”.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: “It is fantastic that Sheffield is playing such a major role in the London 2012 games, not only with the world class facilities we have here, but also with the trainers and home- grown talent we have produced from this city.”

Ponds Forge also recently played host to the ASA British Gas National Diving Championships 2012, which saw Sheffield-based divers Monique Gladding and Nick-Robinson Baker earn their places at London 2012.

Tickets are available for the British Gas ASA National Championships through Ticketmaster.

Visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk for more information.