A world record swimmer known as The Horse gave Ed Walsh the final gee-up that saw him into the Great Britain team this week.

Westminster champion Walsh will be among the first of the new 2012 Olympic crop after two stunning swims in the ASA National Youth Championships at Sheffield.

His wins in the 17/18 years 50m and 100m at Sheffield were forged in North Kensington at the Westway Centre and his Camden club but they were honed in the company of world record holder Alain Bernard, aka The Horse.

The Frenchman is among the favourites for gold in Beijing, and it was a training stint with Bernard in France last month that gave Walsh the impetus to not only top the podium but get within a fingernail of the British record.

The best bit of the tale is the language barrier prevented the two rarely talking to each other.

Walsh explained: Watching him, studying his body language; the way he does things were an inspiration in themselves without the words.

Walsh will now be a part of the GB squad next year the result of flogging himself at 5.30am sessions since he was 10.

He added: I knew I could win the 100m, but the 50m was the icing on the cake. To get within a tenth of a second of the British record was fantastic.


Final: 17/18yrs, 50m Freestyle: 1 EDWARD WALSH (Camden Swiss) 23.23s; 2 Patrick Clement (Haslemere) 23.49; 3 Alex Garnett (Staines) 23.73

Final: 17/18yrs, 100m Freestyle: 1 WALSH 51.43; 2 Ross Douglas (Stirling) 51.60; 3 Jonathan Greig (Stirling) 51.97