SWIMMING: O'CONNOR QUALIFIES FOR OLYMPICS

Bath teenage star Siobhan-Marie O’Connor has become the youngest British swimmer to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

The 16-year-old St Gregory's Catholic College pupil produced the performance of her life to win gold in the 100m breaststroke final at the ASA National Championships in Sheffield last night.

The competition was the final opportunity for O’Connor to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard and she did it in style with a personal best 1:08.04 swim.

The time took her below the FINA A qualifying standard time of 1:08.49 – enough to secure nomination to Team GB for the Olympic Games.

O’Connor’s University of Bath Swimming Club team-mate Stacey Tadd was second in a time of 1:08.74.

Tadd achieved the 200m breaststroke Olympic qualifying time at the British Championships in March.

O’Connor said: “I found it so hard to deal with missing out in March but I had to get back in and do the hard work. I’ve focused so much since then and now I’m going to the Olympic Games. It is just unbelievable. At one point I never saw myself going to London but I’ve given everything in training.”

She became the second Bath ITC swimmer to secure Olympic nomination in 24 hours.

Bury St Edmunds’ Bath-based Chris Walker-Hebborn qualified in the 200m backstroke on Thursday. Last night the 21-year-old completed a double by winning the 100m backstroke in 54.26, which means he has also qualified to swim that event at London 2012.

Once selected by the British Olympic Association, O’Connor and Walker-Hebborn will join a team that already includes three Bath-based swimmers – Tadd, Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis –selected following their performances at the British Championships in March.

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