SwimmingOlympic Champions Mix With Youth

Olympic Champions Mix With Youth

British Championships, Day 4 Finals: Freya Anderson Edges Anna Hopkin By 0.04 To Complete 100/200 Free Double

Olympic relay champions James Guy and Anna Hopkin are among the finalists on day four of the British Championships at Ponds Forge.

Guy was third into the 100 fly final with Jacob Peters leading the way ahead of Lewis Fraser while Hopkin booked lane four for the 100 free where she’ll meet Freya Anderson, Lucy Hope and Abbie Wood as she looks to add to her 50 free victory from Thursday night.

James Wilby leads the way in the 200m breaststroke while Freya Colbert renews acquaintance with Katie Shanahan in the 200 back after the pair took gold and silver in the 400IM which saw the former book a spot on the British team for the World Championships and the Scot a consideration time.

British Swimming announced an amendment to the selection policy on Friday morning removing the cap of eight discretionary picks meaning they can select as many as they choose on that basis up to the team size limit of 30.

This follows the prioritising of relays and will ensure their strength in Fukuoka where they’ll also be looking to qualify a relay spot for Paris 2024.

Women’s 200m Backstroke: Qualification Time, 2:07.29; Consideration Time, 2:08.07; British Record, 2:06.66

The meet has already proven a success for Colbert with wins in the 400IM and 800 free.

The 19-year-old led the way in the 200 back prelims in 2:11.31 ahead of Shanahan posting the second swiftest time of 2:11.58.

The pair had a thrilling duel in the long medley which evoked memories of Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott and the four-length race promised to be a close-run thing.

Shanahan won bronze representing Team Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and silver at Europeans in Rome days later and she reached the 50m mark first in 30.44.

Shanahan and Colbert were clear of the field at halfway with the Scot holding an 0.70secs advantage.

The 18-year-old was a second ahead at 150 and touched in 2:07.81 for her second consideration time of the meet and a new PB.

Colbert was second in 2:08.73 with Evie Dilley third in 2:12.70.

Men’s 100m Butterfly: QT, 50.88; CT, 51.56; British Record, 50.67

Peters and Fraser were inside 52 in prelims in 51.68 and 51.99 respectively.

Coached by Dave McNulty at Bath Performance Centre, Peters has won world, European and Commonwealth relay medals.

He is though still looking for his first individual visit to an international podium.

Guy crossed himself as he stood on the blocks immediately before the race.

Peters reached halfway at 23.69, 0.42 ahead of Guy (24.11) and Fraser (24.19), a lead he extended down the second 50 to touch in 51.16, a consideration time.

Guy was second in 51.63 with Jamie Ingram rounding out the podium in 51.98.

Women’s 100m freestyle: QT, 52.98; CT, 53.55; British Record, 52.75

The B final commanded attention at Ponds Forge with Eva Okaro, a 16-year-old who won 50 bronze and 4×1 silver at the 2021 European Junior Championships, winning in 55.43.

Hopkin swam the anchor leg as Britain won mixed medley relay gold at the Tokyo Olympics and she made an eye-watering start, reaching the 50 in 25.42 to Anderson’s 25.89.

With contrasting styles, the pair battled it out in the centre lanes with Anderson clawing back the water before drawing alongside at the death, her long arms getting the touch in 53.48 to 53.42 as both women went inside the consideration time.

With victory, Anderson secured the 100/200 free double and she said:

“It’s really nice to get that 100 title back, a quicker time than I expected.

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve gone about this season and it’s nice to see hard work’s paying off.”

Coached by Dave McNulty at Bath Performance Centre, Anderson told how she and Hopkin would drive each other on, saying:

“We were joking before that Anna’s come from the 50 and I’ve come from the 2 so we sort of meet in the middle which does result in very different race plans – Anna goes out really fast and I’ve got to claw it back.

“That really works, we push each other, and it’s great for the relay as well to have two sub-54s.”

Hopkin, who set the British record of 52.75 in the heats in Tokyo before finishing seventh in the final, said:

“Quite a short week for me. I was happy with that. The 50 I was really happy with, I wasn’t expecting to go that quick.

“I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker in the 100 – I maybe took it out a little bit hard and paid for it at the end but it’s good to know that speed’s there – I just need to build on the end part of it.

“Doing those times at this point of the season is pretty much where I’ve been at the last couple of years so I’m hoping that bodes well going into the summer and we can drop back down closer to my PB.”

Men’s 200m Breaststroke: QT, 2:08.11; CT, 2:08.55; British Record, 2:07.30

Wilby had already secured the 100 albeit outside either a qualification or consideration time.

The 29-year-old, who won the European title last year in Rome, but it was Archie Goodburn who reached the 50m mark 0.27 ahead in pole position.

By the time the halfway point was reached Wilby had turned that deficit into a 0.62 advantage over the Scot and was 0.86 ahead of Greg Butler at the final turn in 1:35.68.

Wilby, coached by Dave Hemmings at Loughborough Performance Centre, touched in 2:09.88 ahead of Butler (2:10.69) and George Smith (2:13.10).

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