Date: 14th June 2013
Location: Basildon Sports Park
Rules: Swimmers start in the water and hold on the side or top bars of the diving platform awaiting the start. On the whistle, swimmers launch backwards and dolphin kick underwater until the arms break the surface. Backstroke is swum with alternating arm strokes and fast up-and-down kicks. When swimmers reach the end of the pool, they may turn onto their stomach for one arm pull and then perform a tumble-turn. They then swim to the other end of the pool. Swimmers complete four lengths of the pool. At the end of the race, swimmers stay on their backs until they touch the wall with one hand.
Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 2.04.06, Missy Franklin, USA.
Sarah: We took our second early morning trip to the Basildon pool unsure if we'd get the lane space during the public swim time to give the distance a proper go. As it happened, we were both able to give the 200m three attempts, with us both posting our best time on the final go. I preferred the 200m distance to the 100m as it felt like I had more time to settle into a rhythm and pace before the final burst. I still had issues with bashing in to the lane dividers, but seemed a bit more accurate with my turns this time round.
Ellie: After the 100m Backstroke earlier in the year, I felt that the 200m would be a huge task. As it turned out, I found it easier and strangely less intimidating than the 100m. I think that knowing we had to do four lengths made me calm down and try not to use too much energy too soon. We were also slightly more accustomed to the (still massive) pool. During the swim it became clear how important it is to get your turns just right as missing a launch or going off course can be a real disadvantage. Now we move on to the freestyle and breaststroke; these both require diving and some different turns. We may have a few outdoor pools in mind for those...as long as the weather cheers up, we'll be alright!