The 2017 British Swimming Championships were off to a fast start, and the action has not slowed down throughout this morning’s prelims.
The Championships are taking place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Center from April 18-April 23. The event will determine who will claim the World Championships roster spots for the upcoming games in Budapest.
Kathleen Dawson started off this morning’s prelims by taking the top seed in the 100 backstroke at 1:00.26. This gives her the thirteenth best time in the world this year, after breaking 1:00 (59.68) for the first time around this time last year. Keep an eye on Dawson to dip back under tonight and crack the top ten. 59.97 will do the trick, as she will be pushed by Jessica Fullalove (1:00.74) and Georgia Davies (1:00.83).
Five swimmers at a 1:01 will round out the A final – Elizabeth Simmonds (1:01.06), Lauren Quigley (1:01.71), Anna Maine (1:01.72), Chloe Golding (1:01.76) and Ekaterina Avramova (1:01.78). Maine was the fastest 17 and under swimmer while Dawson was the best of the 20 years old and under competitors.
Fresh off a victory in the 400 free, James Guy came back this morning to claim the top spot in the men’s 200 butterfly. Guy swam a very relaxed 200, splitting 26.29, 29.91, 30.48, 32.36. Based on his consistent pacing in last night’s 400 free final, it is likely that Guy can bring home his last 50 much quicker than this, putting him right around his entry time of 1:57.05 which currently sits eighteenth in the world.
Joe Litchfield (1:59.34) and Matthew Domville (1:59.43) had good morning swims, both coming down from 2:01s. Duncan Scott (1:59.59) and Cameron Brodie (1:59.99) had controlled swims this morning as well, and will certainly be in the mix in tonight’s final. Luke Howdle (2:00.12), Michael Gunning (2:00.16) and Richard Nagy (2:00.23) will also be competing in the heat. Litchfield, Domville and Scott are all 21 and under, while the best 18 and under swim went to Mason Wilby in 2:01.29.
While neither Imogen Clark nor Sarah Vasey (now the second and third best 50 breaststrokers in the world as of last night) competed in the 200 breaststroke, Chloe Tutton had a great morning swim to set the pace for tonight’s final. After placing fourth in Rio, Tutton will certainly be out to make an impact on this event in Budapest. She raced to a 2:24.96, just off her 2:23.89 from the Arena Pro Swim Series Indianapolis and her 2:22.34 from the Olympics. She split similarly to Guy in 33.40, 36.83, 36.59, 38.14. If she maintains her speed tonight, she should get back down to what she swam in Indy.
Molly Renshaw will also be going for the title tonight, coming in with the third seed of 2:25.70. To go along with her best of 2:22.33, Renshaw has a lot of international experience in this event. She placed sixth in Rio and won the event at the 2016 World SCM Championships. The future looks bright in this event for the British women.
Jocelyn Ulyett swam a season best of 2:25.25 to claim the second seed. The trio will be joined by Katie Matts (2:27.24), 400 IM-Champion Hannah Miley (2:27.41), Coates (2:28.15), Abbie Wood (2:28.47) and Megan Morrison (2:29.56).
50 backstroke Champion Chris Walker-Hebborn will be looking to get back down to his best of 53-mid in tonight’s 100 back final. His morning time of 54.71 sits about one second out of the worldwide top 10 rankings right now. Xavier Mohammed broke 55 for the first time in 54.90 to take the second seed, followed by Luke Greenbank in 55.07.
Craig McNally (55.62), Charlie Boldison (55.62), Joe Elwood (55.78), Joseph Hulme (55.80) and Brodie Williams (56.20) will all swim in tonight’s A final as well. Williams is the only swimmer in the Championship Final who is 18 years old or younger. His morning swim was a two-tenths drop from his best.
Sixteen-year-old Leah Crisp led the way in the women’s 800 free finishing with an 8:53.33. Nikki Miller (8:54.54) and Georgia Darwent (8:54.94) took the next two spots with one heat to go. Crisp dropped one tenth from her seed time while Miller and Darwent were slightly off their personal bests.
Tonight’s final will feature Rio silver medalist in this event, Jazmin Carlin, who will be looking to crack the top 10 and swim under 8:20.18 to make the automatic qualifying time for Budapest. She will be joined by Camilla Hattersley, Holly Hibbott, Danielle Huskisson, Alice Dearing, Isobel Griffiths, Aimee Willmott and Amber Keegan.
Another teenager claimed a top spot on the women’s side as Sophie Yendell (14) had the fastest preliminary 50 butterfly in 26.99. She was the only swimmer to crack the 27-second barrier. She will need to drop eight more tenths here to make the top 10 but this was still a great breakthrough morning swim for the youngster, regardless, as her swim lowers her own British Age Group Record. Charlotte Atkinson (27.04), Alys Thomas (27.10) and Freya Anderson (27.12) are also in contention to win the event tonight. They will be joined by Lauren Mills (27.35), Laura Stephens (27.41), Raquel Matos (27.45) and Tain Bruce (27.62).
To close out the day, 100 Breaststroke Champion Adam Peaty sprinted to a 26.62 50 breaststroke, the world’s fastest time so far this year. Could we be on World Record watch tonight? Quite possibly. Peaty’s own record stands at 26.42 from the 2015 World Championships. If not tonight, this record is sure to fall in Budapest.
Mark Campbell (27.70), Euan Inglis (27.81), Charlie Attwood (27.89), Lawrence Palmer (28.05), Chris Steeples (28.09), Wilby (28.12) and Jamie Graham (28.31) will round out the A final.