JAZZ Carlin admitted that she is still getting over some early season rustiness as she claimed her first gold medal of the British Championships.
Having secured a bronze medal on the opening day of the championships in the 200m freestyle on Tuesday night, Carlin was back in action last night.
Carlin took to the pool in her preferred 800m, the same event she claimed silver in at the Rio Olympics last year, and took first place with a time of eight minutes 30.56 seconds.
“It’s actually my first 800m race since Rio so it’s always a bit rusty when you get back into it,” she said.
“It’s great to be pushed along by Holly (Hibbott) because she is one of the ones for the future to watch.
“It’s always great to come away with gold at the British Championships but it’s been quite a tough race.
“I had a really long break after Rio and had a couple of months out of the pool completely.
“It was a bit of a shock getting back into the swing of things but it’s nice to be back racing and enjoying the crowd here and racing the best in Britain.”
The Tigersharks swimmer, who was cheered on by members of her club in Sheffield, went out in 29.35 seconds in her first 50m, 0.25 off leader C Hattersley.
By the quarter race mark, Carlin had taken the lead of proceedings as she touched in a time of 2:04.08, 0.54 ahead of Holly Hibbott.
The Stockport Metro swimmer kept Carlin honest through the next 200m, as Carlin turned with an advantage of just 0.09 seconds, in a time of 4:13.25.
However, the 26-year-old, who now lives in Bradford on Avon, showed her class in the latter stages to control from the front and finish 1.12 seconds ahead of Hibbott.
Carlin will be back in action on Saturday morning when she goes in the heats of the 400m freestyles.