Single-minded Miley keeps eyes on the prize
HANNAH Miley is a teenager with a one-track mind, although her focus is very different from her peers.
RELIEF: Hannah Miley books her 200m medley final place after a personal best swim in Rome
Miley believes her determined single-mindedness propelled her into a first World Championship final, after she produced a 2.09.46 personal best to qualify for tomorrow's 200m medley as third quickest.
However, the 19-year old faces a battle to deliver the podium potential that British Swimming officials have long believed she would achieve.
Five world records fell on the first day of these championships to guarantee the word polyurethane - the buoyant material at the centre of the ongoing swim suit row - would feature prominently in this morning's headlines.
American Ariana Kukors erased Stephanie Rice's previous record from Beijing, edging out Miley to touch home in 2.07.03 in a fast-paced semi-final.
"It was really cool to see the world record broken in my race and to also set a new personal best is amazing," said Miley.
"I didn't really think I had broken my pb when I finished but I'm just so happy to get through - it is my first major international senior final.
" I am taking positive steps forward and gaining more and more experience and I am chuffed with it.
"I didn't really realise Ariana was going off, I focused on what I needed to do.
"I can't let anyone else effect me or my race plan because if I do I will mess up massively. I might end up going too hard when I should have controlled it.
"You shouldn't really get affected by any other factors or other people - I focus on my own strategy and stick with it."
Great Britain’s men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle teams both finished seventh in their respective finals.
The women’s quartet of Fran Halsall, Caitlin McClatchey, Katherine Wyld and Amy Smith broke their national record twice in the space of seven hours.
But double Commonwealth champion McClatchey admits more is needed to challenge swimming’s powerhouse nations.
And with the 2012 Olympics exactly three years away on Monday – the standard Great Britain must aspire to was underlined by the Netherlands, who smashed the world record to take gold in 3.31.72.
In contrast Great Britain touched home in 3.36.99
“Our aim is to keep lowering that and to get closer to the world mark,” said McClatchey.
“We knew we had to do something better or close to the British record to get to the final, so it was always an aim of ours.
“There are some really strong countries out there and we knew we needed to be competitive time-wise – we did that and that was our only aim.
“Our coach, Ben Titley, told us to go out and get 3:36 and we did that, to go get two British records in a day is amazing.”
Elsewhere, Spain’s Rafael Munoz was quickest into the men’s 50m butterfly final in a championship record 22.68 sec while Great Britain’s James Gibson missed out on the 100m breaststroke final.
He was 14th quickest in the semi-finals as American Eric Shanteau set the pace with a championship record 58.96 seconds.