MANCHESTER, England, June 26. BRITISH swimmers continued to impress in this morning’s finals at the British Gas International as preparation for the Commonwealth Games rolls forward.
After posting a quick 59.59 in prelims to mark yet another sub-1:00 swim this year, Adam Peaty couldn’t replicate the feat in finals. His 1:00.28, however, was good enough to win the event over Michael Jamieson and his 1:01.34. Andrew Willis was third with a 1:01.91. Peaty stands second in the world — and second among Commonwealth athletes — with his 59.25 from two weeks ago. Jamieson and Willis are stronger in the 200 breast and will like put up an exciting duel tomorrow.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor added a third win to her meet total today after taking two events Wednesday. She posted a 1:57.28 in the women’s open 200 freestyle, dominating the event to win by two seconds over the 1:59.24 posted by Rebecca Turner. Amelia Maughan placed third with a 2:00.02. O’Connor has been faster this year with a 1:56.59 from British nationals that places 10th in the world this year.
O’Connor nearly got on the podium for the fourth time with a 1:02.40 in the open 100 backstroke, but it was only good enough for fourth place. Elizabeth Simmonds won that event with a 1:01.01 ahead of the 1:01.69 by Georgia Davies and the 1:01.88 by Jessica Fullalove.
With individual medley ace Hannah Miley sitting out her top events at this meet, Danielle Lowe was able to win the women’s open 400 IM with a 4:46.16. Camilla Hattersley took second with a 4:49.61 while Denmark’s Julie Lauidsen got on the podium with a third-place 4:51.98.
Lowe almost got a second win this morning in the open 200 breaststroke, but she couldn’t get past Katie Armitage to stand at the top of the podium. Armitage finished the race with a 2:31.93 to Lowe’s 2:32.07. Sophie Allen led the race through 100 meters but fell to third at the finish with a 2:32.90.
Joe Roebuck put up a solid 1:58.90 to win the men’s open 200 butterfly. He needed it to hold off Cameron Brodie, who had a strong charge in the final meters to place second with a 1:59.40, and Matthew Johnson, who was third with a 1:59.70.
Ben Proud nearly got under 22 seconds in the open 50 free, winning the event in a 22.14. Proud recently broke the British national record with a 21.86. Andrew Weatheritt posted the only other swim under 23 seconds in the final with a 22.74. Magnus Jakupsson of Denmark finished third with a 23.28.
Rachael Kelly and Amy Smith, both teammates at Loughborough University, battled in the women’s open 50 fly final. Kelly got the win in 26.80 to Smith’s 26.85. Ellen Thomas completed the podium finishes with a third-place time of 27.11.
Stephen Milne led from start to finish in the men’s open 1500 freestyle, taking the event in 15:19.12. Jay Lelliott took second in 15:23.33, while Caleb Hughes was a distant third with a 15:35.57.
Age group finals
In the three-person final in the 16-and-under women’s 400 IM, Elizabeth Hopkins got the win with a 4:59.18, her best time of the season. She was the only swimmer under five minutes, as Gabrielle Burdess and Melanie Hall were in a battle for second place throughout the swim. Burdess finished second with a 5:06.38 and Hall took third with a 5:06.76.
Kevin Wallbank grew his lead in the 18-and-under men’s 200 fly final from a second at the 50 to 3.5 seconds at the finish with a time of 2:03.34. Joe Litchfield was a distant second with a 2:06.98, while Thomas Howdle was third in 2:08.42.
Eleanor Baldwin broke away from a tight pack of four swimmers turning together at the 50-meter mark to win the 16-and-under women’s 100 backstroke with a 1:04.18. Freya Rayner (1:04.64), Anna Maine (1:04.75), and Danielle Baker (1:04.90) rounded out the top four.
Five swimmers competed in the 18-and-under men’s 50 free, and the finishers were separated by just six tenths of a second. Daniel Speers got the win with a 24.04, ahead of Thomas Fannon’s 24.15 to get second, and Adam Toone’s 24.43. Suleman Butt’s 24.44 was fourth, while Zak Dawson was fifth with a 24.62.
Niamh Robinson won the 16-and-under women’s 200 breaststroke with a 2:35.50 over the 2:36.75 swum by Abbie Wood for second. Emily Wood was third with a 2:37.22.
After a 29.83 opening 50-meter split, Charlie Atwood won the 18-and-under men’s 100 breast with a 1:03.05. Joshua Thompson settled for second with a 1:05.44 while Dominic Polling was third with a 1:06.04.
Holly Hildrew got the win in the 16-and-under women’s 50 fly final by three hundredths of a second over Georgina Pryor, 28.42 to 28.45. Danielle Tomlinson finished third with a 28.58.
The three-person final of the 16-and-under women’s 200 freestyle featured one of the closest races of the session. Kathryn Greenslade was leading after 100 meters, but couldn’t match Darcy Deakin’s endurance and settled for second with a 2:04.52 to Deakins’ 2:03.95. Rachel Bethel was also in the mix throughout the race, and finished third with a 2:04.84.
Three teams put on an exciting battle in the men’s 400 freestyle relay, with plenty of swims in the 50-second range. Proud was the only swimmer to submit a swim under 50 seconds, with his 49.20 anchor leg helping Plymouth Leander win the event with a 3:24.17. Host club Manchester was second with a 3:24.54, while Stirling finished third with a 3:25.09.
Plymouth also won the women’s 400 free relay, with the team posting a 3:43.72. Manchester was second in 3:45.97, while Sheffield took third place with a 3:49.38.