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Cooke steams to 400m freestyle win for England

03 August 2002

England's Rebecca Cooke wins gold in women's 400m freestyle final at the Manchester Aquatics Centre tonight.

Rebecca Cooke

Cooke rejoices after winning gold

The race between England's Rebecca Cooke and Australia's Elka Graham was a real nail-biter tonight.

The support of the home crowd willed Cooke on and she finished in pole position to win the gold medal. She completed the race in a time of 4:09.49.

She commented: "I am completely ecstatic, overwhelmed with it all. It didn't feel hard at all. It was comfortable and I felt in control all the way through. I always felt I was holding the others off. Now for the world championships in Barcelona nect year."

"I'm really enjoying the Commonwealth Games. The team has been doing fantastically - especially tonight."

Australia's Elka Graham grabbed the silver in a time of 4:11.47. She said: "I'm just a little annoyed I didn't win. I felt weird today - the weirdest I've felt in warm-up, but my coach told me not to worry about it. I went out there just to do my best."

"I closed my eyes in the first 100 metres, because I didn't want to see who was up with me, and it didn't hurt so much. My room-mate (Brooke Hanson) got silver as well, so I don't think we'll get much sleep tonight."

Jamaica's Janelle Atkinson finished third for bronze in 4:13.24.

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