Francesca Halsall

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Francesca Halsall
Fran Halsall medal.jpg
Fran Halsall with her silver medal for the 100 m freestyle at the 2009 World Championships.
Personal information
Full name Francesca Halsall
Nickname(s) Bagpuss, Fran
Nationality British
Born (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 24)
Southport, England
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 59 kg (130 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle, butterfly
Club Loughborough University
Coach James Gibson

Francesca Jean "Fran" Halsall (born 12 April 1990) is a British freestyle and butterfly swimmer who has competed at the Olympics, World Championships, European Championships, and Commonwealth Games.

Halsall was the youngest member of the Team England swim squad at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where she won silver medals in the 4×100 m freestyle and 4×100 m medley relays.

She was a member of the European Aquatics Championships 4×100 m medley relay team that took gold in August 2006 and successfully defended their title in August 2008 in Eindhoven. Halsall won five medals at the 2010 European Championships in Budapest, 2 Golds, 2 Silvers and a Bronze and was a member of the 4x100m medley relay team that successfully defended their title for a second time. In winning five medals, she became the most successful British swimmer ever at a single championships.

At the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in New Delhi, India, Halsall won a gold medal, with a national record of 26.19 seconds, in the 50m butterfly, beating the favoured Australians. In the 100m freestyle Halsall was expected to win easily but a bout of illness (Delhi Belly) left her pale and weak and she had to be content with the bronze medal. Just 20 minutes later and despite being almost unable to stand up she returned for the 100m butterfly semi finals but failed to make the final. Later in the Games Halsall recovered enough to win 3 more silver medals in the women's 50m freestyle and as part of the 4 x 100 freestyle and medley relay teams.

Personal life[edit]

Halsall was born in Southport and attended St Mary's College, Crosby.[1] As of August 2012, she lives in Loughborough with her boyfriend, British hockey player Alastair Wilson.[2]

Swimming career[edit]

2008 FINA Short Course World Championships[edit]

Halsall won four medals at 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester, including 4×100 m freestyle bronze on her 18th birthday. She won the silver medal in the 100 m freestyle behind Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands.

2008 Summer Olympics[edit]

Halsall represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 100 m butterfly, 50 m freestyle, 100 m freestyle, 4×100 m freestyle, 4×200 m freestyle and 4×100 m medley

She reached the 100 m freestyle final and swam 54.29 where she finished eighth. She also swam a British record of 53.81 which helped the British quartet set a new national record of 3:38.18 in the 4×100 m freestyle.

2009 FINA Long Course World Championships[edit]

Halsall competed in 4 events at the 2009 world championships in Rome. She set a championship record for the 100m freestyle in the lead-off leg during the heats, and swam the lead leg in the final, with Great Britain placing 7th. Halsall placed 5th in the 50m freestyle in a national record of 24.11. In the 100m, she out-touched Lisbeth Trickett of Australia to take silver in a national record of 52.87, with Germany's Britta Steffen winning in a new world record of 52.07. Halsall also anchored the 4x100 metre medley relay to 5th place.

2012 Summer Olympic Games[edit]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Halsall competed in five events.[3] Halsall reached the semi-finals of 100m butterfly, posting a time of 58.52,[4] well off her season's best of 57.56 set in March.[5] Halsall made the finals of the 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle, finishing 6th and 5th respectively.[6] In the 4×100 m freestyle relay Halsall swam the second leg in a split of 53.29, helping the British team to a 5th place finish. In the final of the 4×100 m medley relay the British team finished 8th, with Halsall providing an anchor leg of 54.08.

2013 FINA Long Course World Championships[edit]

Having just missed out on a medal in the 50m butterfly by coming fourth. Halsall successfully gained bronze in the 50m freestyle posting a time of 24.30 seconds. This ended a disappointing drought of medals for Great Britain just one year after the London Olympics, though Halsall was the only swimmer to finish in a medal-winning position.[7]

Personal bests and records held[edit]

Event Long course Short course
50 m freestyle 24.11 (2009) NR 23.44 (2009) NR
100 m freestyle 52.87 (2009) NR 51.19 (2009) NR
200 m freestyle 1.59.13 (2008) 1.53.79 (2010) NR
50 m butterfly 25.70 (2013) NR 25.44 (2008) NR
100 m butterfly 57.40 (2010) 55.71 (2009) NR
100 m individual medley 58.55 (2009)NR
Record Key NR:British

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gold for Fran!". School News. St. Mary's College. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  2. ^ McRae, Donald (14 July 2012). "London 2012: Fran Halsall – Britain's gladiator of the pool". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Francesca Halsall – Swimming – Olympic Athlete". London 2012 Official Website. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Women's 100 Butterfly – Olympic Swimming". London 2012 Official Website. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "SwimNews Rankings". swimnews.com. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Women's 50m Freestyle – Olympic Swimming". London 2012 Official Website. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Why did GB swimmers miss their medal target in Barcelona?". BBC News. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 

External links[edit]