Carlin looking like a real contender

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THE trials for next month’s World Championships ended last night in Sheffield with Jazmin Carlin rounding off a superb week with a victory in the 400 metres freestyle, which suggests she could be a medal contender on three fronts in Barcelona.

Fellow distance swimmer Daniel Fogg mirrored Carlin’s achievements as victory in the 1,500m freestyle saw him complete the distance triple following wins in the 400m and 800m.

Just 12 months ago, Carlin was devastated as ongoing illness culminated in the Swansea swimmer missing out on the Olympics. However, after taking time out of the water, she returned to the pool in September and undertook fearsome distance training sets under coach Bud McAllister.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a successful International Meet in Leeds in March but that was just a prelude to this week at Ponds Forge. First up was a world-leading time in the 800m freestyle before she took 19 seconds off the British 1,500m record.

She concluded her programme with another personal best last night as she became fourth fastest in the world this year over eight lengths in four minutes 4.25 seconds. Carlin said: “I was a bit nervous tonight because I was feeling a bit heavy after the distance events. I am happy to come away with a best time. I’ve had a week I couldn’t even dream of so it’s about moving forward now.

“This week the times have really surprised me. It’s given me a confidence boost which is great but it’s about taking it one step at a time.

“I don’t think you can ever take anything for granted, a time’s a time, it’s when you get to the race that it counts.”

Carlin’s re-emergence comes just months after the retirements of fellow distance swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson.