SwimmingFirst Spots On British Team Up For Grabs

First Spots On British Team Up For Grabs

Freya Anderson, Abbie Wood and James Wilby are among the swimmers looking to book a spot on the British team for the Fukuoka worlds on the first night of finals at the British Championships in Sheffield.

Wilby is the top seed in all the breaststroke events with Adam Peaty having withdrawn to focus on his mental health, although it was Archie Goodburn who led the way in the 100 breaststroke heats.

Katie Shanahan and Freya Colbert renew acquaintance in the 400IM while Imogen Clark impressed in the 50br heats.

The men’s 400 free and 50 back will also be decided.

Finish first and within the stringent qualification time and you’re on the plane to Fukuoka.

Women’s 50m Breaststroke: British Record, 30.02

Clark had impressed in qualifying when she was the only woman inside 31secs, 0.62 ahead of Kara Hanlon.

The 23-year-old set the British record en-route to silver for Team England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games behind Lara van Niekerk.

All seemed to be going to plan for the two-time European medallist as she touched in 30.09 but alongside her name was a DQ.

Instead, Hanlon was crowned champion in a Scottish record of 30.50 ahead of Sienna Robinson (31.46) and Angharad Evans (31.72).

Men’s 50m Backstroke: British Record, 24.04

Oli Morgan led the way into the final with the field separated by 0.59.

And it was the Birmingham University swimmer who headed the field in the final as the only man inside 25secs in 24.84.

Behind him came Sebastian Somerset (25.21) and Cameron Brooker (25.23) with 0.40secs separating third to eighth.

mens 50 back again and again

Women’s 200m Freestyle: QT, 1:55.86; Consideration Time, 1:56.85; British Record, 1:55.54

Only British record holder Jo Jackson and Siobhan O’Connor – who stands second in domestic waters with 1:55.82 en-route to silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – have been inside the qualification standard with both women retired.

Anderson is the third swiftest British woman in history with a PB of 1:56.05 from the semis at the 2022 worlds where she went on to finish fourth.

The nine-time European relay champion booked lane four in the morning heats alongside 2022 champion Wood.

Wood led at the first turn only for Anderson to take control from that point, coming home in a PB of 1:55.89, just 0.03 outside the qualification time.

Wood was second in 1:57.21 with Lucy Hope third in 1:58.03.

Splits: 27.61/57.03/1:26.72/1:55.89

Anderson was greeted by Dave McNulty with a hug, the Bath Performance Centre coach having guided the three fastest British women over 200 free in Jackson, O’Connor and Anderson.

“It felt really good, I think it’s the first time I can say I’ve done a full block of training so it’s nice to see it’s paying off.

“Everything clicked so hopefully I can get back training and get that time further down.”

The 22-year-old has had some turbulent times and even fell out of love with swimming in 2021 – Olympic year – going as far as telling Swimming World last year that “I hated swimming. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

However, times have changed and Anderson continued:

“I’ve not really been pleased with a swim for quite a while so it’s good to finally get under that 1:56 and it’s great to see the depth of the girls as well.

“I’m just buzzing, it’s a nice feeling.

“Last year I couldn’t even win the 200 so I really wanted to get that back.

“It’s so amazing the girls are going so fast, it’s really good for relays.”

Men’s 400m Freestyle: QT, 3:44.06; CT, 3:46.34; British Record, 3:43.75

Kieran Bird led the way in the heats in 3:54.26 ahead of Charlie Hutchison (3:54.96) and Luke Turley (3:55.17).

Come the final and Turley held a 1.79sec advantage over Bath National Centre teammate Bird with 100 remaining.

Tokyo Olympian Bird however started to make inroads and was closing with every stroke down the last metres.

Turley held on to win 3:48.31 ahead of Bird (3:48.61) with Hutchison rounding out the podium in 3:52.41.

Women’s 400IM; QT, 4:36.00; CT, 4:37.96; British Record, 4:31.33

Britain has been spoiled in recent years in this event with Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott gracing world, European and Commonwealth podiums as well as reaching Olympic finals.

The pair have both retired – with Willmott doing commentary at Ponds Forge – but there’s real promise in the form of Shanahan and Colbert.

Shanahan was the 2021 European junior champion and tasted success last year with bronze for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, 0.43 ahead of Colbert in fourth.

Colbert went on to win bronze at the 2022 European Championships in Rome weeks later with Shanahan in seventh.

The pair were alongside each other and it was Shanahan who led at halfway, 2:11.31 to 2:12.28.

Colbert though moved ahead by 250 and led thereafter to touch in 4:35.50 – inside the automatic qualification time -with Shanahan clocking 4:36.74.

Colbert said:

“It was a lot faster than I was maybe expecting.

“I’d set my hopes quite high, I was hoping for 4:37 low but I’ve done a lot of work with Dave (coach Dave Hemmings), my technique has really improved so I just really wanted to get in there and see what I could do and I am over the moon with that.”

Men’s 100m Breaststroke; QT, 58.93; CT, 59.16; British Record (WR), 56.88

Peaty has topped the podium at every British Champs since 2015 with a winning time of 58.58 in 2022 before he was forced to pull out of Budapest worlds following a foot injury.

It meant a new champion would be crowned with Wilby leading the entry times across all breaststroke events.

However, it was Archie Goodburn who had led the heats in 1:00.35, 0.04 ahead of Wilby, who won Commonwealth gold last year when Peaty was fourth.

The 30-year-old is the only Briton bar Peaty inside the qualification time with a PB of 58.46 en-route to silver at the 2019 worlds in Gwangju.

Wilby led Goodburn at 50, 27.90 to 28.10 and came home in 59.94, the only man inside a minute but well outside the qualification or consideration time.

Greg Butler, coached by Mel Marshall at Loughborough, was second in 1:00.03 with Goodburn clockiing 1:00.20.




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