Karen shows she's still got it

SWIMMING: Suffolk and GB swimming sensation Karen Pickering is celebrating yet another gold-medal performance this week.The 30-year-old Ipswich star picked up a glorious win in the 200m freestyle at the National Short Course Championships in Cambridge.

By Debbie Watson

SWIMMING

SUFFOLK and GB swimming sensation Karen Pickering is celebrating yet another gold-medal performance this week.

The 30-year-old Ipswich star picked up a glorious win in the 200m freestyle at the National Short Course Championships in Cambridge.

Karen, who was last week honoured by her home club with a special post-Commonwealth trophy presentation, stormed to the finish in a magnificent time of 1.57.56.

The four-day Championship event came at an uncertain time for the Suffolk sportswoman, given that she had been suffering from a chest infection throughout the previous weeks.

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Speaking after a post-games training camp with the British Commonwealth squad, she admitted to The Evening Star that she had felt tired and unwell after a particularly busy competitive schedule.

However, determined not to be beaten in one of her strongest races, Karen clearly produced the goods on the day.

The 200m race proved to be a typically dramatic one, with close races had by Pickering, Karen Legg, Janine belton and Melanie Marshall.

From the outset Karen took the lead and by halfway the victory was never really in doubt.

Reminding the crowd why she is the 200m Commonwealth champion – and four times British Short Course champion – she clinched the race almost a full second ahead of Marshall.

Friday 13 – the date of the women's 100m freestyle – had proved to be less lucky for Karen. In this event it was Scotland's Alison Sheppard who took gold, leaving Karen to take a respectable silver in a time of 54.93.

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