LEEDS, Great Britain, March 7. DAY one of the British Gas International Meet featured plenty of action, but the event with top-billing proved to be the women's 100-meter free. The event featured handfuls of Olympic gold medals in what wound up being an exciting finale.
In the most high profile event of the night, three-time Olympic gold medalist Ranomi Kromowidjojo of The Netherlands dominated the women's 100-meter free with a 54.14. She went out in a blistering time of 26.39, already well ahead of the pack. Teammate Femke Heemskerk touched second in 54.78, while Loughboro's Fran Halsall rounded out the podium with a third-place 54.87. The final also featured Olympic gold medalists in USA's Natalie Coughlin (54.90) and Plymouth's Ruta Meilutyte (55.28) as the two took fourth and fifth in the epic heat.
Glasgow's Robbie Renwick kicked off the night's open events with a victory in the men's 400-meter freestyle. He turned in a time of 3:49.91 for the win. That's only a few seconds off his best time of 3:46.73 from the British Gas Swimming Championships last year at this time. Millfield's James Guy placed second in 3:50.43, while Cardiff's Ieuan Lloyd turned in a third-place 3:52.35.
West Dunbart's Ross Murdoch clipped East Lothian's Mark Tully at the wall, 28.12 to 28.17, to win the men's 50-meter breaststroke. Meanwhile, Derby's Adam Peaty took third in 28.23. Bath's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor knocked off Garioch's Hannah Miley by more than a second in the women's 200-meter IM, 2:10.53 to 2:11.59. She pushed out to a three-second lead at the 100, then held on as Miley made charge. The performance smashed O'Connor's previous best of 2:11.86, and jumped her into the top 25 all time. Miley has a 2:09.46 to her credit from the 2009 FINA World Championships. Stockport's Sophie Allen wound up third in 2:13.33.
Loughboro's Joe Roebuck cruised to a surprise victory in the men's 100-meter fly with a time of 53.07, while The Netherland's Joeri Verlinden earned second in 53.38. Plymouth's Antony James completed the podium with a third-place 53.85. Swansea's Georgia Davies nearly beat her best in the women's 50-meter back with a speedy 28.04. She has a top-25 ranked time of 27.96 to her credit from the 2011 British National Championships. Hazel Grove's Lauren Quigley touched second in 28.40, while Manch's Jessica Fullalove placed third in 29.05.
Ellesmere's Chris Walker-Hebborn, an Olympian, cleared 2:00 to win the men's 200-meter back in 1:59.06. Warrender's Craig McNally placed second in 2:00.58, while Bath's Calum Jarvis touched third in 2:00.94. Swansea's Jazmin Carlin turned up the heat with a strong mid-season time of 8:24.42 to win the women's 800-meter free. That swim actually bettered her previous best of 8:25.67 from the 2011 British Nationals.
The meet also featured plenty of age group swimming in finals as well. Millfield's Joel Knight clinched the men's 18-and-under 400-meter freestyle event in 3:58.08, while Leicester's Harriet Cooper took home the women's 16-and-under 100 free with a 56.51. Abingdon Vale's Alex Murphy won the men's 18-and-under 50 breast in 29.03. Meanwhile, Plymouth's Harry Ackland lowered his own British age group record with a second-place 29.32.
Guildford's Emma Day hit the wall in 2:18.45 to win the women's 16-and-under 200-meter IM, and also punched her ticket to the European Junior Team by clearing the event standard. Milfield's James Guy topped the men's 18-and-under 100 fly event with a 54.24. Thanet's Katie Latham topped the women's 16-and-under 50-meter back with a time of 29.75, the only to clear 30 seconds in the finale. Swanswea's Nathan Theodoris, the heavy favorite, dominated the field in the men's 18-and-under 200-meter back with a 2:03.42.