Date: 11th July 2013
Location: Basildon Sports Park
Rules: Freestyle technically means 'any style' but all swimmers choose the front crawl as this is the quickest stroke. At the start of the race, swimmers dive in and when they break the surface, swim the front crawl one length of the pool. Some part of the swimmer must touch the side of the pool at the end of the length.
Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: 24.05, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands.
Sarah: We arrived at the pool at 5.45am today. That's right, 5.45am. We'd also stayed in the hottest Travelodge imaginable the night before and only got about three hours sleep, so we weren't in the most rested of conditions. The pool soon woke me up though and we launched in to the 50m freestyle. It felt quite strange only doing one length of the pool, but was fun not having to pace myself and just concentrate on going flat-out.
Ellie: Having had less sleep than Margaret Thatcher on a bad night and feeling like I was actually made of iron was not the best way to start a day of ticking off events. Thankfully, after a few miss-timed dives and some misbehaving goggles, I got into the swing of it and actually rather enjoyed the 50m event. My biggest issue, though, with the Freestyle has always been the breathing. I really enjoy being under the water and so end up gasping for breath having spent 4 or 5 strokes pretending to be a mermaid!