Tag Archives: semis

FA Cup semi-final draw 2013: Manchester City v Manchester United/Chelsea, Wigan v Millwall/Blackburn

FA Cup semi-final draw: City await winners of Chelsea and United replay in last four

PUBLISHED:

18:45 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:34 GMT, 10 March 2013

FA CUP SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Millwall/Blackburn v Wigan

Manchester United/Chelsea v Manchester City

Ties to be played April 13/14

Manchester City will play either rivals Manchester United or fellow Barclays Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

The draw, conducted at Wembley immediately after United's 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford, pitched the eventual winners of the replay against City.

Millwall and Blackburn also drew earlier in the day and will replay on Wednesday, with the winner to face Wigan.

The semi-finals will be played at Wembley over the weekend of April 13 and 14.

Comeback: Chelsea came from 2-0 down against Manchester United at Old Trafford to force a replay

Comeback: Chelsea came from 2-0 down against Manchester United at Old Trafford to force a replay

Crushing: Manchester City thrashed Barnsley 5-0 on Saturday evening to secure their spot in the semis

Crushing: Manchester City thrashed Barnsley 5-0 on Saturday evening to secure their spot in the semis

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez was given
the first chance to respond to the eye-catching draw, but was unwilling
to look any further ahead than his side's replay against United.

'We have to think about the first game
and, afterwards, think about City,' he told ITV. 'It will be tough,
will be difficult, United are a great side.'

Javier Hernandez and Wayne
Rooney gave United a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes at Old Trafford this
afternoon, but well-taken second-half goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires
earned Chelsea a replay.

City, in contrast, brushed off npower
Championship side Barnsley 5-0 yesterday as Carlos Tevez shrugged off
his latest off-field controversy to score a hat-trick and set up his
side's other two goals.

Wembley bound: Wigan will face either Millwall or Blackburn in the semis after beating Everton 3-0

Wembley bound: Wigan will face either Millwall or Blackburn in the semis after beating Everton 3-0

Wigan produced arguably the
performance of quarter-final weekend to beat Everton 3-0 yesterday with
goals from Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez in less
than four minutes in the first half.

Millwall and Blackburn played out a
goalless draw at The Den, Andy Keogh hitting the post and Danny Shittu
stretching keeper Jake Kean with a 40-yard bolt from the blue as the
hosts created the better chances.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan described a
potential Wembley date with Blackburn as a 'dream' – and revealed he may
lead the team out himself.

Stalemate: Millwall and Blackburn will need a replay after a goalless draw at The Den on Sunday

Stalemate: Millwall and Blackburn will need a replay after a goalless draw at The Den on Sunday

As a player, Whelan played in the 1960
final for Rovers but saw his Wembley dream turn sour as a broken leg
forced him off before half-time.

'The dream is there,' he told Sky
Sports News. 'All Blackburn have got to do now is get through the replay
and my dream is on, I can go to Wembley and (we can) play against
Blackburn Rovers.

'When you've been to Wembley and got
what I got, a broken leg and Rovers went on to lose 3-0, it's very
upsetting. I feel I've got unfinished business at Wembley.

'Roberto's asked me to lead them out at Wembley and if we get Blackburn, I may just say yes.'

Holders: Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final last year and are on course for another trip to Wembley

Holders: Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final last year and are on course for another trip to Wembley

Glory: Manchester City won the FA Cup in 2011 when they beat Stoke 1-0 in the final

Glory: Manchester City won the FA Cup in 2011 when they beat Stoke 1-0 in the final

McManaman is one of a host of fringe
players to have excelled in the Latics' cup run and Whelan said: 'Roberto's played his young boys – one of them, McManaman, scored a
great goal yesterday – so it's done us good all round.

'The performance they put on at
Everton was stunning, in the first half we played Everton off the park
and should've been four up.'

The run to the last four contrasts
with Wigan's seemingly annual struggle for Premier League survival,
which the pragmatic Whelan admits has to remain their priority.

'We have to stay in the top flight,
that's number one,' he said. 'But the FA Cup is still a fantastic trophy
and we've never been to a final.

'To win the cup and stay in the
league, that's the dream isn't it And to get to the Europa League,
that's unthinkable for Wigan Athletic. It would be wonderful.'

Australian Open 2013: Li Na beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3

No problems for Li as she ends Radwanska's winning run to secure semi-final spot

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:03 GMT, 22 January 2013

Li Na made it through to her third Australian Open semi-final today after halting Agnieszka Radwanska's blistering start to 2013.

Radwanska came into the match having won 13 straight matches, a run which included title wins in Auckland and Sydney, but she had no answer to Li's all-or-nothing game.

The Chinese won 7-5 6-3 despite making 40 unforced errors to advance to a last-four clash with either Maria Sharapova or Ekaterina Makarova.

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

In a game of contrasting styles, Radwanska started well with her consistency gaining her the upper hand.

She made Li come through a 12-minute opening game to hold but serving was to prove a disadvantage as there were four consecutive breaks before Li finally stood firm to lead 4-3.

Radwanska edged ahead once more after winning a 26-point rally on break point to move 5-4 up.
She could not consolidate it though as Li promptly hit before claiming a 6-5 lead.

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Li celebrates as Radwanska looks dejected

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

And the sixth seed, the runner-up here two years ago, took the opening set after the best point of the match, both players moving their opponent around the court before Radwanska was pushed into a corner and failed to return a Li smash.

Radwanska, who has now failed to get past the last eight in Melbourne having reached this stage four times, looked like she was mounting a comeback when she established a 2-0 lead in the second.
But Li simply ramped up her game, going for even more from the baseline.

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

And having it got back on serve, she seized the initiative further by going on a nine-point run which helped her to take a 5-2 lead – despite one serve bizarrely flying over Radwanska's head on the full and straight into the stand.

Radwanska held to make Li serve it out and, despite a few wobbles, she came through in one hour and 42 minutes.

Andy Murray is as fast as Usain Bolt over first 10 metres

Murray is as fast as 100m world record holder Bolt… well, over the first 10 metres

saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open” class=”blkBorder” />

On a roll: 2012 saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open

His peak condition will come in useful over the next two weeks at the Australian Open, with high temperatures sure to add strain to what is already an exhausting tournament.

Last year’s final was only seven minutes shy of six hours as Nadal and Djokovic battled it out, and it wasn’t the first time that the Slam has seen a match last longer than five hours.

The tournament kicks off on Monday, with Murray seeded third and seeking his second Grand Slam title. Robin Hasse, ranked 54th in the world, will be the first obstacle in the Scot’s way.

With Rafael Nadal absent due to a virus and Novak Djokovic in the other side of the draw, Roger Federer is the biggest threat to Murray’s chances of making the final. The pair could meet in the semis, but before that Murray may have to overcome sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

ATP Finals: Juan Martin del Potro beats Roger Federer

Delighted Del Potro beats Federer as both reach ATP World Finals last four

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UPDATED:

17:26 GMT, 10 November 2012

Juan Martin Del Potro joined Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after ending the defending champion's 12-match winning streak at London's O2 Arena.

Federer has won the title the last two years with a perfect record but knew he was already through after straight-sets wins in his first two group matches.

The incentive was therefore with Del Potro and he seized his chance, recovering quickly after dropping the second set to win 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3.

Delight: Juan Martin del Potro celebrates

Delight: Juan Martin del Potro celebrates

After winning Del Potro said: 'I'm so happy to beat Roger once again, I know he's a favourite here but the crowd respected me also.

'It's going to be a tough match against Djokovic or Murray, I don't know yet but I'm so excited to get into the semis.

'I think I was a little lucky towards the end of the match. Always when you beat these kinds of players you need luck on your side but I played well.

'I took the breakpoint chances in the last set then I served really well in the last game. I was very nervous but I closed out the match.'

The semi-final match-ups will not be
decided until after tonight's match between David Ferrer and Janko
Tipsarevic, even though it is now a dead rubber.

Down-heartened: Even though Federer was already through he did not enjoy losing

Down-heartened: Even though Federer was already through he did not enjoy losing

Victory for Ferrer would mean it is
Federer who plays Andy Murray with Del Potro playing Novak Djokovic,
while a Tipsarevic win would reverse the fixtures.

Federer had won 13 of his previous 16
meetings and six of seven this year with Del Potro, but the Argentinian
is a player who has given him plenty of trouble.

As well as winning his only grand slam
title with victory over Federer in the final of the US Open in 2009,
Del Potro also led the Swiss by two sets in the French Open
quarter-finals this year and pushed him to 19-17 in the third set at the
Olympics.

The 24-year-old, meanwhile, handed
Federer his only other indoor defeat in the last two years in the final
of his home-town tournament in Basle two weeks ago.

Annoyed: Federer was not at his effervescent best

Annoyed: Federer was not at his effervescent best

It was a very tight first set, with the only break points coming for Federer in the eighth game, but Del Potro saved all three.

And it was the Argentinian who
dominated the tie-break, Federer choosing a bad moment to misfire with a
series of poor forehands and backhands.

His response was emphatic, going on
the offensive and winning the first eight points of the second set, and
Del Potro did not come close to retrieving the break.

The sixth seed did strike first in the decider, though, taking a 2-0 lead when Federer miscued a backhand.

Tidy: Del Potro sealed victory in two hours

Tidy: Del Potro sealed victory in two hours

The champion was making a lot of
errors and let out a cry of frustration midway through the set as he
battled to turn things around.

There was no way back, though, and Del Potro sealed an impressive victory after exactly two hours when Federer netted a volley.

Celtic v St Mirren, Hearts v Inverness – Communities League Cup semi-final draw

Celtic face St Mirren in League Cup semis as troubled Hearts are drawn against Inverness

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 8 November 2012

Celtic have been drawn against St Mirren in the semi-final of the Scottish Communities League Cup, with the game taking place at Hampden.

Crisis-hit Hearts, who warned their game against St Mirren on November 17 could be their last after being presented with a winding-up order over a 450,000 tax debt, were drawn to play Inverness with that match taking place at Easter Road.

The games are to be played on the weekend of January 26-27 with the order to be set following consultation with television companies.

Jumping through Hoops: Celtic will play St Mirren in the last four

Jumping through Hoops: Celtic will play St Mirren in the last four

Shanghai Masters 2012: Andy Murray into semi-final after beating Radek Stepanek

Murray edges into Shanghai semis after battling three-set victory over Stepanek

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UPDATED:

10:53 GMT, 12 October 2012

Andy Murray overcame a shaky start to power into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek.

The US Open champion, who has an outside chance of finishing the year as world number one, will face either Roger Federer or Marin Cilic for a place in the final.

He was forced to overcome some worrying moments against Stepanek before hitting top gear to remain on course for a third successive Shanghai Masters title.

On the march: Murray is into the semi-final at Shanghai after seeing off Stepanek in three sets

On the march: Murray is into the semi-final at Shanghai after seeing off Stepanek in three sets

Murray was in trouble in the fifth
game, conceding three break points and finding the net on the third, and
never recovered as the confident Stepanek took the opening set with
ease.

Their fortunes reversed in a
hard-fought second set with Murray looking more comfortable and
capitalising on a double fault to break in the sixth.

Flying start: Stepanek took the first set but Murray battled back to edge through

Flying start: Stepanek took the first set but Murray battled back to edge through

Flying start: Stepanek took the first set but Murray battled back to edge through

A stunning forehand winner – executed
at full reach having dashed the width of the court – in the third game
of the deciding set helped Stepanek secure a crucial break.

But Murray broke back immediately in
impressive style and barely broke sweat as he cruised to victory,
Stepanek buckling beneath the pressure in the closing stages.

Roofless: The players faced each other on a clear night in Shanghai

Roofless: The players faced each other on a clear night in Shanghai

London 2012 Olympics: Volleyball – Russia 3 Brazil 2

Russia 3 Brazil 2: Historic comeback stuns favourites at Earls Court

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UPDATED:

15:26 GMT, 12 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Russia became the first team in the history of men's Olympic volleyball to win the final from two sets down as they stunned Brazil at Earls Court on Sunday afternoon.

For the best part of three sets the Europeans looked a shadow of the side which had demolished Bulgaria in the semis, lumbering around the court as Brazil picked points at will.

So easy was their march to victory that at 2-0 and 22-19 they sent on retiring captain Giba – a virtual spectator in London due to injury – to allow him the privilege of being in court when the medal was won.

Comeback kings: Russia celebrate after their unlikely victory

Comeback kings: Russia celebrate after their unlikely victory

Comeback kings: Russia celebrate after their unlikely victory

That proved to be the worst move they could have made as Russia, clearly furious about such a display of disrespect, embarked on one of the most staggering comebacks the sport has seen to wrap up a fourth Olympic volleyball title.

This was the first not won under the USSR name, though, and could in part be put down to the performance of Dmitriy Muserskiy.

Whether he was offended by the Giba substitution or not, he somehow found a whole new level of brutality at the net, using every inch of his 7ft 2in frame to plunder a match-winning 31 points.

On the other side, Brazil were no longer quick around the court and the previously-excellent Sergio could not feed Bruno who would in turn tee up Wallace and Murilo at the net.

The change was remarkable and a far cry from the start of the game when Brazil were desperate to ride the wave of support started by their victorious female counterparts on Saturday night. When the two teams were announced, the overwhelming backing belonged to the South Americans.

Down and out: Brazil's players can't believe what has happened

Down and out: Brazil's players can't believe what has happened

They made sure they fed off it too, getting out to 8-5 in front when the first time-out arrive, mixing some thunderous hitting from Wallace with some more delicate touches from Murilo as Russia failed to settle.

It was not due to a lack of trying, but more down to the ruthlessness with which Brazil were moving around the court. The reception of Sergio was precise, the setting of Bruno fast and the hitting of Wallace and Murilo unrelenting as they moved to 15-9.

There was no stopping the duo – even a run of three Russia points on the serve of Sergey Tetyukhin made no difference – and when Wallace spiked his fifth point of the set, Brazil took it 25-19.

There was no let-up at the start of the second set either, despite Russia getting an early jump to 2-0.

A brilliant block from Sidnei made it 2-2 and then the fine serving of he and Wallace got their side firmly in command at 8-4.

Giant: 7ft 2in Dmitriy Muserskiy

Giant: 7ft 2in Dmitriy Muserskiy

A theme had certainly emerged, with Russia doing their best to hit Brazil off the court only to be denied by Sergio, whose stunning defensive work would pave the way to a thunderous winner at the net.

The score got out to 22-17 when Dante Amaral's kill block won a back-and-forth thriller and, when the same player cracked a spike off Maxim Mikhaylov's fingertips, the set was won 25-20.

Knowing the grave nature of their situation, there appeared to be a greater steel about Russia at the start of the third set and they led at the first time-out, with Muserskiy finally imposing himself on the game with two telling spikes as they edged to 8-7.

A winner and a kill from Sidnei and then a pair of spikes from Wallace spun the set back around in Brazil's favour and, although Sergey Grankin blocked to level at 15-all, Murilo got Brazil ahead at the second time-out.

All over: Brazil's Dante Amaral leaves the field in dejection as Russia celebrate wildly

All over: Brazil's Dante Amaral leaves the field in dejection as Russia celebrate wildly

It was all or nothing for Russia, though, and as Brazil shook a little they pounced, recovering from 22-19 to 22-all and then, despite letting two set points slip through their fingers, eventually took it 29-27 when Muserskiy got an error out of Murilo.

The tables had turned at the start of the fourth, with Russia dictating the pace and picking up points on their own terms, with Maxim Mikhaylov's blocking putting them 8-7 up at the first break.

They continued to dominate after that, leading 15-12 when Brazil were hauled off the court for time-out, with serves going long and spikes persistently shut down.

It was one-way traffic and Russia duly took the set 25-22 before opening up a 3-1 lead in the decider when Amaral hit long.

And when in the fifth set a block from unsuspecting libero Alexey Obmochaev dropped in as a winner, the game was up at 12-6 and eventually Russia closed it out at 15-9.

England up to third in FIFA world rankings, leaving Italy trailing

Watch out, Spain! England leave Italy trailing and move up to third in FIFA world rankings

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UPDATED:

10:07 GMT, 8 August 2012

England have climbed to third place in the latest FIFA world rankings – their highest position.

Roy Hodgson’s side exited Euro 2012 at the quarter-final stage and have failed to reach the last four of a major competition since 1996.

Yet they have moved above Uruguay into third in the standings, which are led by Spain with Germany in second place.

More misery: England crashed out of Euro 2012 to Italy in the quarter-finals

More misery: England crashed out of Euro 2012 to Italy in the quarter-finals

England were outclassed by Italy in their quarter-final in Kiev six weeks ago, yet bizarrely are ranked three places higher than the finalists.

Portugal, who reached the semis at Euro 2012, are also lower, as are Holland and Argentina.

In a further quirk of the standings, Brazil are 13th – one position below Greece and three beneath Denmark.

England’s lofty position asks significant questions of the way the rankings are calculated.

Apart from a friendly win over Spain last November and the 5-1 thrashing of Croatia in a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup, England fans have had precious little to celebrate in recent times.

Odd: Italy reached the Euro 2012 final - but England are ranked above them

Odd: Italy reached the Euro 2012 final – but England are ranked above them

The nation’s last victory against significant opposition at a major competition was the 1-0 win over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

FIFA state their rankings are based on all international matches, including friendlies, played in the previous four years.

The criteria included are the outcome, status of the match, opponent’s strength and the strength of team’s confederation.

Wins against high ranking opponents in competitive matches are very valuable, while only results over the last 12 months count in full.

Those from the previous year count half, while games played up to three and four years earlier have even less significance.

Since the 2010 World Cup, England’s record reads a respectable won 13, drawn five and lost three.

But their inability to launch a meaningful challenge at tournaments, where they have consistently fallen short against quality opponents, will bemuse supporters surveying the last FIFA rankings.

London 2012 Olympics canoe sprint: Tim Brabants reaches final

In good health Olympic veteran and doctor Brabants reaches canoe sprint final

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 6 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Tim Brabants began the defence of his Olympic title on Monday in the canoe sprint, reaching the final of the Kayak single 1000m event.

He finished fourth in his semi-final, scraping through behind Adam van Koeverden, Eirik Veras Larsen and Rene Poulsen.

In the previous round he came fifth, and was three seconds behind world champion van Koeverden, from Canada, who finished in 3.28.69 seconds.

On the way: Tim Brabants has reached the semis

On the way: Tim Brabants has reached the semis

Champ: Brabants won gold in Beijing

Champ: Brabants won gold in Beijing

Brabants, 35, has struggled to recover
from a tendon injury, admitting before the heats at Eton Dorney that
retaining his title in the men's K1 1000 metres could be 'tricky'.

More to follow.

London 2012 Olympics swimming: Fran Halsall unimpressed after reaching semi-final

Brit hopeful Halsall disappointed despite making semis in 100m freestyle

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 1 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Fran Halsall was less than impressed despite negotiating the first step of the journey which she hopes will end with her achieving her 'ultimate' dream, gold in the 100 metres freestyle.

The 22-year-old said recently she would take a gold in that event over anything else and today she was second in her heat and seventh overall as she qualified for the semi-finals in 54.02 seconds.

Eighth four years ago in Beijing has been followed by medals at world, European and Commonwealth level but Olympic gold is the dream.

Still in it: Fran Halsall reached the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle on Wednesday

Still in it: Fran Halsall reached the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle on Wednesday

However, she was unhappy with her performance today, saying: 'I made the semi. That's all that matters. Other than that it felt s***.

'Let's see what happens. Maybe I will swim faster.

'It will be 53 to make it so it won't be that much, but hopefully I will be able to make the final.

'The crowd were good for me. They really pull you along. It was really enjoyable to have them there.

'I would like to dominate this event and I will try my best to do so but I can't control what anyone else does so I am just looking to giving my performance and hopefully tomorrow as well.'

Dutchwoman Ranomi Kromowidjojo has been in a class of her own this year, the owner of three of the top five swims in 2012, including a world lead of 52.75 as she became the only woman wearing textiles to have dipped under 53 seconds.

Ready to go: Halsall prepares for the heat by splashing water on herself

Ready to go: Halsall prepares for the heat by splashing water on herself

Here we go: Halsall still stands a chance of reaching her 'ultimate dream' and winning Olympic gold

Here we go: Halsall still stands a chance of reaching her 'ultimate dream' and winning Olympic gold

Libby Trickett, then Lenton, managed it in 2007 but it was never officially recognised as the Australian achieved it in a mixed relay and in a lane adjoining Michael Phelps, the 19-time Olympic medallist.

Kromowidjojo, who won bronze at the World Championships in Shanghai last year, was fifth fastest through in 53.66 with China's Yi Tang quickest in 53.28.

It also emerged this morning that Rebecca Adlington, winner of the 400m freestyle bronze, would not be in heats of the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The 23-year-old qualified for the squad in the second trials in Sheffield in June.

Less than impressed: Halsall was glad she reached the semi-final but was disappointed she finished second in the heat

Less than impressed: Halsall was glad she reached the semi-final but was disappointed she finished second in the heat

Less than impressed: Halsall was glad she reached the semi-final but was disappointed she finished second in the heat

Her swim placed her as the fourth fastest Briton in 2012 behind Caitlin McClatchey, Rebecca Turner and Eleanor Faulkner.

The trio were all swimming this morning with Jo Jackson, whose fastest time this year is 0.02 behind Adlington's, slotting in.

Where possible, British Swimming rest athletes in heats so they can prepare for their individual races and Adlington has the heats of the 800m freestyle tomorrow morning.

Should the quartet reach the final, the team line-up can change and Adlington added to the squad.

While it may bring to mind the mistakes of Beijing, where Adlington and McClatchey were rested, the squad then were title contenders and only included two 200m specialists in Jackson and Mel Marshall.

The line-up was made up with medley specialist Hannah Miley with sprint freestyler Halsall on the anchor leg.