Spofforth sails through
Gemma Spofforth eased through the heats of the 100 metres backstroke at the Olympic trials in London.
Last Updated: 04/03/12 12:12pm
Former world champion Gemma Spofforth eased through the heats of the 100 metres backstroke on the second morning of the Olympic trials.
Spofforth safely negotiated the two-length race at the Aquatics Centre, beating European silver medallist Lizzie Simmonds in the process.
The Florida-based swimmer touched in one minute 00.82 seconds with Simmonds the second Briton home 0.62secs back, Germany's Jenny Mensing finishing in between the pair.
Spofforth said: "I wasn't actually excited or nervous until last night when I really felt it.
"I was shaking a little bit and I was excited that I was nervous because I've been a little flat coming into it.
"So it's a nice feeling to get the first race out of the way."
Both women admitted the curved roof and lighting inside the Aquatics Centre was not initially conducive to following a straight line, with Simmonds saying: "Every roof is different - that sounds really, really boring.
"It sounds as if I'm going to start discussing my conservatory!
"It wasn't really on my mind this morning, I was just more like get going, have a race and blow the cobwebs away.
"It becomes a personal thing, how it makes you feel to swim.
"For me it was about getting in there, doing a decent first 50 but then knowing you have a hell of a lot more to come and just relaxing with control, still with speed obviously."
Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington also impressed, leading from the front in the heats of the 400 metres freestyle.
The Mansfield-born swimmer was in the final heat and quickly moved clear of the rest with only Jazmin Carlin, the Commonwealth bronze medallist, keeping her company.
Adlington clearly had a lot left as she touched in four minutes 06.75 seconds ahead of Swansea ITC's Carlin, who clocked 4mins 09.32secs.
Olympic silver medallist Jo Jackson, now recovered from illness and asthma, was in the penultimate heat and clocked the second-fastest time with Eleanor Faulkner third.
Meanwhile, Robert Bale will lead the British charge in Sunday night's 200m freestyle semi-finals after clocking a time of 1:48.41, putting him ahead of highly-rated teenager Ieuan Lloyd and Robbie Renwick.
Commonwealth bronze medallist Kate Haywood, who moved to Australia last year to train alongside the likes of triple Olympic champion Leisel Jones, was the fastest home swimmer in the 100m breaststroke heats in 1:08.83.