Commonwealth Games 2014: Harrogate’s Sophie Taylor storms to swimming gold in Glasgow

Swimmer Sophie Taylor (TJ100336i) Picture by Tony Johnson
Swimmer Sophie Taylor (TJ100336i) Picture by Tony Johnson

Harrogate swimmer Sophie Taylor broke the British record as she surged to gold at the Commonwealth Games on Monday night.

Taylor produced a thrilling comeback in the 100m breaststroke to overhaul Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson and win in a personal best of 1.06.35.

Atkinson, who had qualified fastest for the final, had led the race at the 50m turn, but she struggled down the final length as Taylor timed her bid for glory perfectly.

Australian Lorna Tonks also overtook Atkinson for the silver medal,= with Atkinson claiming the bronze.

Taylor had qualified as second fastest from Sunday night’s semi-finals after winning her sem-final race in 1.07.20.

The 18-year-old was agonisingly close to a medal in the 50m breaststroke but she missed out on a podium position by 23 hundredths of a seconds.

Her time of 31.08 saw her finish fourth behind Australia’s Leiston Pickett (30.59), Atkinson (30.67) and Scotland’s Corrie Scott (30.75).

However, Taylor had swam a British record of 30.56 in the 50m heats and that would have been enough for gold in the final. She also went quicker than her final time in the semis.

The 18-year-old then suffered disappointment in the 200m breaststroke earlier in the competition when she failed to make the final.

However, she has showed she is a name to remember in Monday’s 100m breaststroke final as she added to England’s remarkable gold medal haul at the Games.

Meanwhile, Harrogate squash player James Willstrop was left frustrated by world champion Nick Matthew in the squash gold medal match.

Willstrop had fought his way into a deciding game against his Yorkshire rival, but he eventually came unstuck in the fifth game.

Matthew took the gold in an absorbing contest 11-9 8-11 11-5 6-11 11-5.