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Halsall smashes records en route to final

Grant Halsall set two Island records as he reached the final of the British Gas Swimming Championships in Manchester.

The 17 year-old, whose 2010 was wrecked after he fractured an elbow, hasn't competed since last June, but qualified for Monday evening’s final of the 100 metres backstroke with the third quickest time.

Halsall qualified after posting a time of 56.34 and then, in the semi-final, another personal best of 55.72 to finish third behind fellow top British swimmers Liam Tancock and pacesetter Chris Walker-Hebborn.

As well as setting two Island records, he recorded the fastest time this year ahead of the European Junior Championships in Belgrade in July.

Coach Jon Rudd's enthusiasm bubbled over at Halsall, who is based at Plymouth College, in his comeback to competition.

‘Grant's success is fantastic and is real boy's own stuff,’ said Rudd ahead of tonight's final.

‘When you think that boy suffered a wretched injury which scuppered his year and hasn't competed since last summer, it's astonishing.

‘We can't wait to see him in tonight's final.’

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