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Whitehead whips up gold for England

01 August 2002

England’s Adam Whitehead takes 100m breaststroke gold from the outspoken Canadian, Morgan Knabe.

Adam Whitehead

Whitehead breaks down after realising he's won gold

Adam Whitehead fought off the three-pronged threat of Knabe, James Gibson and Darren Mew, to take the gold by just a tenth of a second.

The silver medal went to Morgan Knabe who had notoriously announced his arrival in Manchester by declaring he was, "here to kick English butts”. James Gibson took a bronze.

Knabe was humbled as he was outclassed by one of Whitehead’s infamous strong finishes.

22-year-old Whitehead from Coventry, had outlined his intentions for the Games when he won his heat in 1:01.05.

James Gibson, England’s pre-race favourite led at the 85m mark, but had gone off too fast to contend with Whitehead’s explosive finish.

Much credit for the victory must be given to coach Mick Selwood, who has brought Whitehead back from the brink in his swimming career.

Whitehead described just what the victory meant to him: “To me that’s four years of turmoil, ups and downs, highs and lows."

"I nearly quit the sport a year ago, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences after Sydney and a lot of bad swims, but my friends and family kept me in it.”

Knabe who had to settle for silver said: “I was aiming for gold tonight. I wanted to take it to the Brits."

“The time was OK, considering how I’ve been feeling, which is not optimal. I’ve been trying to figure out what’s been going on with my stroke, but I managed to hold it together for the final and I have to be pleased with that.”

On a night where England took four gold medals in the pool, Darren Mew (1:01.87) had to settle for fourth.

Further back in the field, South Africa’s Brett Peterson finished fifth (1:02.14), Michael Brown (1:02.58) of Canada took sixth.

Australia were back in seventh with Jim Piper (1:02.68) in lane one. Terence Parkin (1:02.74) of South Africa was eighth.

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