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Monday, 12 March 2012 (3024412)
High five for Fran!
by Henry James

SOUTHPORT swimmer Fran Halsall will have the opportunity to win five gold medals at this year's Olympics and at the British Swimming Championships she swam the quickest 50m freestyle in the world in 2012.

She gained qualification for a third individual event at the Olympics with a time of 24.13 seconds and she will also be competing in the 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle and the sprint and medley relays.

During the championships the swimmer had won the 100m freestyle and took silver in the 100m butterfly.

The 21-year-old was shocked to record the time in the 50m freestyle and when she saw it displayed on the screen she had to cover her open mouth with her hand. The time was only two hundredths of a second behind her British record, which she recoded in 2009 in Rome wearing a non-textile suit.

After the race Fran said: “For the first time in my life I am speechless! I knew when I came into this meet that I was in great shape and I was swimming fast.

”There is definitely more to come, this is the fastest I have ever swum in March so if I keep the ball rolling in the summer it'll be good. I thought I was capable of producing a 24.5 second swim but to do that, oh my god I am so happy.“

She is now part of 38 British swimmers who will join Team GB at the Olympics and they include double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.

Fran will be happy to win just one gold medal this July and added: ”It'll be a busy week but it keeps me out of trouble. Five gold medals is a big ask from anyone - apart from Michael Phelps - but I'll be happy with one.“


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