Ben Proud Races to Third-Ranked 50 Free at 2017 British Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

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Day five of the 2017 British Swimming Championships are now complete, and some familiar faces will be looking to make the World Championships team in tonight’s final. Siobhan Marie O’Connor and Max Litchfield will race the 200 IM while Ben Proud will look to take over the World Rankings in the 50 free. Additionally, Hannah Miley will pull off a difficult 200 IM-400 free double and will be joined by Rio silver medalist Jazmin Carlin in the latter race. All five athletes were competitors at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The British 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.

Prelims sessions begin at 5:00 am, EST while finals will begin at 1:30 pm EST.

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Photo Courtesy: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Action started off with the women’s 400 freestyle, where double Rio silver-medalist Jazmin Carlin cruised to the second seed in 4:12.71. Her best, 4:01.23, is from her medal race in Rio. She will need to swim a 4:03.43 to automatically qualify for Budapest and a 4:07.31 to crack the worldwide top 10. She should not see any direct challengers if she swims to her potential, but Holly Hibbott (4:12.49), Hannah Miley (4:13.12) and Eleanor Faulkner (4:13.13) should have a great battle for second place. Miley was the only one of these swimmers to get a personal best this morning.

Camilla Hattersley (4:14.90), Kathryn Greenslade (4:15.64), Abbie Houston (4:16.90) and Monique Oliver (4:17.01) will also swim in the A final.

There were not any crazy swims in the men’s 200 IM prelims, although top-seed Max Litchfield did swim the twentieth fastest time in the world so far this year in 2:00.04. Like his top competitors, he swam a very relaxed race and should be much faster tonight. He will battle Rio Olympian in this event Dan Wallace who raced to a 2:01.08 for the third seed; but after a great 400 IM, Litchfield is likely to take this one as well.

Mark Szaranek took the second spot in 2:00.65, and Litchfield’s brother Joe Litchfield claimed fourth in 2:01.14. Jarvis Parkinson (2:01.20), Xavier Mohammed (2:01.36), Duncan Scott (2:01.71) and Martyn Walton (2:02.59) will also compete in the A final. The race features an interesting combination of swimmers in distance IMer Litchfield, 200 IM specialist Wallace, and 100 freestyle Champion Scott. The men will need to swim a 1:57.11 to make it to Budapest or a 1:58.15 to be considered.

Miley dominated her prelims heat of the 200 IM in a 2:14.05, but Siobhan-Marie O’Connor stole the show after waiting all week for this 200 IM. She took the top seed in 2:12.39, good enough for the seventeenth fastest time this year. She really shut it down on the back half of this race and should be well under the Budapest consideration time of 2:10.75 in the final. A 2:09.56 will give her an automatic bid and would give her one of the top two times in the world this year. Expect O’Connor to be the only swimmer out in under 28 seconds and then run away with the race.

18-year-old Abbie Wood took the third seed in 2:14.14 followed closely by Rosie Rudin (2:14.67) and breaststroker Molly Renshaw (2:15.55). Georgia Coates (2:15.97), Constance Dean (2:16.00) and Katie Matts (2:16.35) will round out the A final.

Ben Proud, who came into the meet tied for the third fastest time in the world this year in 21.74, solidified his ranking by posting a 21.64 in the prelims of the men’s 50 free. 21.54 will give him an automatic qualifying time for Budapest. Thomas Fannon swam a twentieth-ranked 22.28, just .28 off the consideration time. Miles Munro and Jack Thorpe tied for the third seed in 22.68.

Alexander Bowen (22.69), James Oxborrow (22.83), Daniel Speers (22.84) and Calum Bain (22.84) will also swim in the A final.

In the women’s 50 back, Georgia Davies swam a 28.09, the thirteenth best time in the world so far this year. She was followed by Kathleen Dawson (28.47), Lucy Hope (28.69), Ekaterina Avramona (28.87), Lauren Quigley (28.95), Harriet West (29.04), Anna Maine (29.07) and Mollie Allen (29.10).

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is the assistant swim coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Keene State, as well as KSC's head site coach for Greenwood Swimming. Pimer also helped coach 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

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