Walker-Hebborn holds nerves to clinch Olympic place

OLYMPIC REPRESENTATIVE: Chris Walker-Hebborn booked his place at this summer's Olympic Games last night
OLYMPIC REPRESENTATIVE: Chris Walker-Hebborn booked his place at this summer's Olympic Games last night

BURY St Edmunds’ swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn will be flying the flag for Great Britain this summer after qualifying for the Olympic Games last night.

The 21-year-old put in his best time of the year of one minute 57.17 seconds to qualify for the 200m backstroke at the ASA National Championships in Sheffield, winning the title and more importantly clinching one of only two remaining GB berths.

It was the last chance for the Team Ipswich swimmer, now based at British Swimming’s intensive training centre in Bath, to qualify after missing out in the British Championships at the new Aquatics Centre in Stratford in March and dealt with the added pressure perfectly.

Walker-Hebborn came through the morning heats as the fastest qualifier in a time of 1:58.40 before improving further in the final to beat Marco Loughran, who claimed the second British Olympic place in 1:58.34.