MANCHESTER, England, June 25. BRITISH swimmers are gathering in Manchester this week for a final racing tuneup before the Commonwealth Games, and dominated the medal podium today in the first morning finals session of the British Gas Long Course International.
Though the meet is open to foreigners, this year’s edition is turning out to be a mostly British affair, and many of the top names that will compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are on hand.
Stephen Milne, who will race for Scotland in distance freestyle next month at the Commonwealth Games, won the men’s open 400 freestyle with a 3:51.73. Robbie Renwick, also a member of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games roster, placed second with a 3:52.37. Anders Nielsen was able to give his native Denmark a place on the podium with a third-place 3:53.50.
Siobhan-Mare O’Connor nearly found herself in the world top 20 rankings with her 54.46 to win the women’s open 100 freestyle. O’Connor ranks second in the world in the 200 IM, and her 100 free time today could give England a boost on the 400 free relay at the Commonwealth Games, if needed. Placing second was Amelia Maughan with a 55.36, while Jessica Lloyd was third with a 55.45.
Not long after her 100 free win, O’Connor was without peer in the 200 IM, taking a second win with a 2:10.39. As mentioned earlier, she is second in the world with a 2:09.63 from the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum tour. Hannah Miley, who will be a medal threat as well in the 200 IM in Glasgow, was second with a 2:12.51. Danielle Lowe took third with a 2:13.05.
Miley got a win today with an 8:37.58 in the women’s open 800 freestyle. Camilla Hattersley finished second with an 8:38.91 while Alice Dearing placed third with a 8:41.92.
Three swimmers broke 28 seconds in the men’s open 50 breast final, led by Adam Peaty’s 27.46. Peaty set the British record with a 27.19 a week ago in Barcelona to rank fourth in the world. Ross Murdoch, who is ranked fourth in the world with a 27.28, was second with a 27.91, while Adam Weatheritt finished third with a 27.99, off his 17th-ranked 27.64.
Antony James led four swimmers under 54 seconds in the men’s open 100 fly, posting a 53.20 for the win. That’s just .01 faster than he swam at the British nationals in April to place fifth there. James Guy, who won the 100 fly at British nationals with a 52.55, placed second with a 53.53. Adam Barrett and Joe Roebuck tied for third with times of 53.97.
Georgia Davies won the women’s open 50 backstroke by almost a second, beating Elizabeth Simmonds 28.00-28.95. Ekaterina Avramova, a Bulgarian swimmer training in the United Kingdom, was third with a 29.24.
Charlie Boldison and Luke Greenbank battled in the men’s open 200 back final, with the two never more than three tenths apart during the race. Boldison took the win in 2:00.65, while Greenback was second with a 2:00.76 and Joe Hulme placed third with a 2:03.50.
Led by a 1:06.33 breaststroke leg from world record holder Ruta Meilutyte, Plymouth Leander won the women’s 400 medley relay with a 4:05.02. Manchester was second with a 4:11.93 while Sheffield was third with a 4:16.52.
A 1:00.48 from Craig Benson on the breaststroke leg was a big part of helping Warrender Baths win the men’s 400 medley relay with a 3:44.00. Antony James put together a 53.41 butterfly leg and Ben Proud swam a 49.49 on freestyle for Plymouth Leander, but their 3:45.53 wasn’t enough for the victory.
Age group results
Britain’s junior swimmers get the chance to race in a prelims/finals format as well in the British Gas International. Duncan Scott, a swimmer on the rise after impressive swims at the British nationals in April, won the 18-and-under men’s 400 free with a 3:56.67. Daniel Jervis, who is a name to watch in distance freestyle, placed second with a 3:57.73. Cameron Kurle was a distant third with a 4:04.18.
The four-person final in the 16-and-under women’s 100 freestyle was won by Darcy Deakin with a 57.74, followed by Hazel Ferguson (58.05), Rachel Bethel (58.39) and Emma England (58.63).
Three swimmers broke 30 seconds in the 18-and-under men’s 50 breast. Charlie Atwood took the win with a 29.07, with Jack Burton second with a 29.55. Joshua Thompson finished third with a 29.69.
In the 16-and-under women’s 200 IM final, just three swimmers competed. Winning by nearly five seconds was Laura Stephens with a 2:22.95, followed by a 2:27.78 from Emma Trotman and a 2:29.54 by Amy Bell.
Kevin Wallbank won the 18-and-under men’s 100 fly with a 55.99, putting in a strong final 50 meters to overcome Adam Taylor. Taylor was leading at the 50-meter mark but faded to second with a 56.36. Ben Roberts was third with a 57.12.
The final of the 16-and-under women’s 50 breaststroke saw all eight swimmers in the 30-second range. Freya Rayner took the win with a 30.20 ahead of Anna Maine’s 30.23 and Lara Charlton’s 30.61.
Adam Taylor used the same strategy in the 18-and-under men’s 200 back as he did in the 100 fly, taking the race out hard and leading through 150 meters. Martyn Walton shot past Taylor in the final stretch, posting a 2:05.97 to Taylor’s 2:06.24. Matthew Rudolph was a distant third with a 2:08.08.
Results for multi-class disability swimming gives wins to swimmers based on their disability class and the time they produce. Phelipe Rodrigues, an S10 swimmer, was given the win in the men’s 100 free with a 53.01. Stephanie Slater, who races in the S8 division, won the women’s 100 free with a 1:08.52.
Swimmers in the S14 class took the top five spots in the men’s 100 breast, led by Scott Quin’s 1:09.80. Charlotte Henshaw, an S6 swimmer, won the women’s 100 breast with a 1:40.09.
Results for the men’s and women’s 50 breast were not available.