Fran Halsall missed out on medal success at London 2012, but she has no shortage of Commonwealth ones.
The Southport swimmer claimed a brilliant gold in the 50m freestyle yesterday at the Tollcross Swimming Centre to follow the silver she won in Delhi.
Halsall swept to victory in a Games record time of 23.96 – the fastest this year – and she always believed such a time was in her, which only added to the jangling nerves.
“That was the target all year. I knew I was ready to swim it which made me more nervous,” she said.
“It made me feel a little bit sick before I started because I wanted to get the results which I knew I could do and perform in a big final against some amazingly talented girls.
“In the last five metres I was thinking, ‘No way am I winning this, I need to get my hand on the wall’. I am really happy and quite emotional.”
She returned to storm into the final of the 50m butterfly, in which she is defending champion, in another Games record, this time 25.36, despite some confusion over whether her freestyle gold would be presented before or after the race. In the end it came afterwards.
Halsall added: “It has been a fairytale evening for me.
“To do a best time in the 50m freestyle then have a bit of hassle... whether it was going to be a medal presentation or whether I was going to swim again.
“It was a bit chaotic, but my two best times in the evening, I can’t ask for much more than that.
“The crowd got behind me, they were cheering, it was an amazing evening, one which will definitely stay with me for a very long time.”
Meanwhile, Preston’s Steph Slater admits she was stunned to claim a Commonwealth Games silver medal – and even more surprised to smash her personal best by almost a second-and-a-half in Glasgow.
Slater clocked 1:05.73 minutes in the S8 100m freestyle last night which made a mockery of her previous 1:07.20 time. But the 23-year-old credited Australian Maddison Elliott – who swam a new world record of 1:05.32 in the lane next door – for helping her reach new heights at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
“Words can’t describe it, I’m so proud,” said Slater.
“Coming here I just wanted to enjoy the experience and to do another personal best – I’m just speechless.
“Having the crowd behind me and Maddy next to me definitely spurred me on, but I just got my head down and really wanted to get that medal.
“I didn’t know she was on world record pace, but to see that she did that was amazing.
“I wanted to be on the podium, but the freestyle is a new one for me, I’ve not swam it internationally before this.”