Dream still on for Northsea duo

Amberley Hoar
Amberley Hoar
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Alexander Edge, nearest camera, begins his backstroke bid. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

GALLERY: Hampshire Swimming Championships

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The dream is still on for Portsmouth Northsea’s Paralympic hopefuls.

Amberley Hoar stormed to a gold at the British Gas Swimming Championships.

A personal best in the 100m breaststroke saw her take the title in 1min 23.21sec.

The event was a trial for the summer Games in London.

Hoar’s performance saw her finish just 0.2sec outside of the qualifying time needed to register her Team GB spot.

But there is still hope for her – and team-mate Lauren Steadman, who also turned in a fine display – to make the squad for the Games in August.

The final qualifying meet takes place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield next month.

Northsea head coach Paul Hogg believes it will a nip-and-tuck effort to make the Games.

He said: ‘Amberley fully deserved her gold. She took tonnes off her personal best.

‘Lauren is close in the 100m freestyle and is focusing on that. She is also pushing for a relay spot as well. It’s going to be tight for them both.’

Hoar hacked three seconds off her PB on the way to the 200m freestyle final where she finished fifth.

She then placed seventh in the 100m backstroke, with Steadman – who went on to finish 11th in the 400m freestyle (4.56.48) – 14th.

Alex Goodman smashed a long-standing best in the 50m freestyle as he clocked 34.23.

A similar performance in the 100m event (1.14.60) and an outstanding fifth place in the 50m butterfly (38.50) followed.

Steadman set a new PB in the 100m freestyle (1.06.11) – finishing ninth in qualifying – and ended her campaign with a 2:43.83 effort in the 200m individual medley (13th).