By David Williams
Medi Harris took another step towards making the Great Britain team for the Paris Olympics when she successfully defended her women’s 100m backstroke title at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.
The Welsh Commonwealth Games bronze medalist had qualified third fastest for final after competing in the 200m freestyle final a day earlier.
But Harris – who trains at the Swim Wales High Performance Centre – showed her class as she exploded off the blocks to leave the rest of the field playing catch up.
A blistering start from the European relay medallist saw her record the only sub-29-second opening 50m.
Harris then emptied her energy tank on the return leg, holding firm for the victory despite Lauren Cox of Loughborough University’s best efforts to claw back into the lead.
Olympic gold medallist Kathleen Dawson also progressed on her morning’s qualifying time to follow the pair in closely for bronze.
“I definitely found it tough to come back down the back 50m, but going out hard was what I’ve been working on in training,” said Harris.
“Hopefully. towards the end of the summer, my back end will come better with it.
“I know that I expect a lot from myself, so I just go and concentrate on what I love doing and enjoy the race more than anything.
“Paris is the main aim for me, but obviously I’d love to go to Worlds to gain more experience and to build better towards Paris.”
Despite improving on her time in the heats, Welsh Tokyo Olympian Harriet Jones was edged out in the 50m butterfly by Sophie Yendell in the single length shoot-out as she took silver this time around.