GLASGOW, Scotland, April 14. JAZZ Carlin appears to have put a disappointing summer at the world championships behind her with a personal best in the 800 freestyle tonight at the British long course nationals, vaulting her to the top of the world rankings.
Carlin posted an 8:18.36 to lower her best time, which happens to be the Welsh record, by two tenths of a second. Carlin swam that previous record at last year’s world championship trials to set up a lot of expectations for the world championships, but she was unable to deliver in Barcelona. She sits at the top of the world rankings, just ahead of upcoming Commonwealth challenger Jessica Ashwood of Australia and her 8:19.76.
Carlin broke away from the field quickly and increased her lead to win by 14 seconds. Eleanor Faulkner was second with an 8:32.99, while Jessica Thielmann took third with an 8:35.47.
Sophie Taylor is giving England and Great Britain reason to get excited about breaststroke possibilities, breaking her second British record this week with a 1:07.08. She owned the previous mark with a 1:07.36 from the junior world championships where she won silver. Taylor needed to beat her lifetime best to get on the Commonwealth Games team, as her 1:07.36 was the qualifying standard to make England’s roster.
With Ruta Meilutyte skipping the final after posting a 1:05.63 in prelims to lead the world standings, Taylor got her chance to shine at home and produce fast results. Taylor finds herself in a tie for sixth in the global rankings with Japan’s Satomi Suzuki and fastest among Commonwealth swimmers. Corrie Scott gave Taylor a bit of a run, placing second with a strong 1:08.77. Molly Renshaw completed the podium with a third-place time of 1:08.94.
Aimee Willmott was not one of the early favorites for the women’s 200 fly final, but made a hard charge in the final 50 meters to win by almost three seconds with her first swim under 2:10. The 2:07.97 she posted got her the privilege to swim the event at the Commonwealth Games, and puts her ninth in the world rankings. Two Australians and a Canadian stand ahead of her in terms of Commonwealth athletes on the global standings, but England has a strong medal possibility now in the event.
Ross Murdoch was favored for the win in the men’s 50 breast final, but Adam Peaty did not want to finish second in all three breaststroke races. Peaty finally broke through to win with a 27.43 over Murdoch’s 27.45. Murdoch had been faster last week to set the British record with a 27.28, but couldn’t replicate the time today. Andrew Weatheritt took third with a 27.64.
Charlie Boldison was already pre-qualified to swim for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, and was just going for the British national title. He made a major comeback in the final 50 meters to take the win in 1:59.40 over Joe Patching, who had been leading through 150 meters with Luke Greenback also in the hunt. Patching, who recently competed in his first NCAA championships for Auburn University, placed second with a 1:59.54 ahead of Greenback’s 1:59.87. Patching and Greenback were three seconds off the automatic qualifying standard for England’s team.
Fran Halsall did just what was needed to get the win in the 100 free, posting a 54.12. Halsall was three hundredths off the automatic qualifying standard for England’s roster, but it’s likely Halsall will get to race the event in the same pool this summer and try to improve on the bronze medal she won in 2010. Halsall has been faster this year with a 54.07 that ranks her 13th in the world. Amy Smith placed second with a 54.94, while Rebecca Turner was third in 55.40.
James Guy, the winner of the 200 free and 400 free, brought back memories of Michael Phelps in the 100 fly at the Beijing Olympics, taking the win in the final stroke with a strong finishing flourish. His 52.55 ranks him eighth in the world and gives England a strong butterflyer for medley relay purposes. It’s not fast enough to get him automatic selection in the event at the Commonwealth Games, but since he’s already on England’s team, he’ll likely have the 100 fly added to his schedule. Adam Barrett was two hundredths of a second behind with a 52.57, while Thomas Laxton took third in 52.75.
Two semifinal races set up for some electric finals tomorrow. Ben Proud will be looking to unseat Adam Brown as the fastest swimmer in the United Kingdom, qualifying first in the 50 free final with a 22.35 to Brown’s 22.62. Miles Munro will also be in the hunt, qualifying third overall with a 22.81. Notably, James Disney-May, who just wrapped up his collegiate career at Auburn, missed the final with a ninth-place 23.04. In the women’s 50 back, Lauren Quigley got the top seed with a 28.05. Georgia Davies was second with a 28.25, and Halsall swam a 28.34 shortly before her 100 free final.
More junior swimmers contended for spots on the British team for the junior European championships, with several fast times put on the scoreboard. Adam Taylor won two events today, starting with a 2:04.35 in the 200 backstroke in the first race of the session and ending with a 55.41 in the 100 fly at the end of the evening. Georgia Coates took the women’s 800 free title with an 8:50.42, while Emma Cain posted a 1:11.15 in the women’s 100 breast.
Amelia Clynes closed strong in the final 100 meters to win the 200 fly with a 2:13.43. Jack Burton won the men’s 50 breast in 28.92, and a 57.13 from Magdalena Cygan was good enough to win the women’s 100 free final.