Chris Walker-Hebborn storms to 100m final victory at British Gas Championships

Chris Walker-Hebborn

Chris Walker-Hebborn - Credit: PA

Chris Walker-Hebborn believes pumping iron could lead to silverware at the World Championships after storming to victory at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Sheffield last night.

Bury St Edmunds swimmer, Walker-Hebborn, 22, proved he was in good form in Sheffield on Wednesday, qualifying for last night’s 100m backstroke final in a new personal best of 53.41 seconds.

And in the final he showed no respect for reputations, romping home in 53.38 seconds for a new personal best and defeating Liam Tancock, a double world champion over 50m and bronze medallist over 100m in 2007.

Walker-Hebborn had a tough time last year and flopped at London 2012 but he revealed more time in the gym has seen him come to the fore over 100m.

“Words can’t really describe it, things have been going well, and it’s been a tough few years but I just came out swimming and I’m delighted,” he said.

“I came here for a 53.9 and put myself on the team but to come away with that is great.

“I’ve been working in the gym and that’s helped my 100m.

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“It was a great confidence boost, it was relatively simple to get through and to back it up again and reassert myself is great.

“Things have been going really well and the qualifying time was difficult, but to get the time, I am pretty speechless.

“We go back next week – it’s another hard week – and plod on through and hopefully do the same in Barcelona.”

Walker-Hebborn’s begins his assault on the 200m – on paper his strongest – event later today.

And he believes that claiming the scalp of Tancock is just the boost he needs to ensure he has a hectic schedule at the World Championships next month.

“I’ve always trained for the 200 and I always will but I’ve been working in the gym and that’s helped my 100m. I’ve got the 200m and we’ll see how that goes,” he added.

“I’m confident; I don’t really know what say but to have that time, two days in a row, is a real boost.”

n This year British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a programme to create a healthier nation and get 500,000 people swimming more regularly by 2015. Visit

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