The 2017 British Swimming Championships have been off to a fast start, and the action has not slowed down through this morning’s prelims. Duncan Scott jumped into the World Rankings and familiar faces like Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Max Litchfield are out to gain their World Championship spots.
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.
After edging out youngster Sophie Yendell in last night’s 50 butterfly for the victory, Charlotte Atkinson came back this morning to take the top seed in the 200 butterfly in 2:09.92. This swim was one one hundredth faster than her entry time. Alys Thomas, who currently holds the eighteenth best time in the world in this event, finished second in an extremely controlled 2:10.10.
16-year-old Emily Large claimed the third seed in 2:11.31. Large was the top seed coming into the meet at 2:08.87 and split 29.25-33.91-33.78-34.37. All three women should be faster tonight in the hopes of breaking the top 10 (2:08.57) and nearing the automatic qualifying time for Budapest (2:06.52).
Laura Stephens (2:11.95), Hannah Miley (2:12.87), Keanna Macinnes (2:12.97), Holly Hibbott (2:13.11) and Isobel Grant (2:13.26) will round out the A final.
Olympic Medalist Duncan Scott took top honors in the 100 freestyle, jumping from fourteenth to ninth in the world rankings. He raced to a 48.58 this morning, followed closely by Adam Barrett in 48.94. Only seven one hundredths separated the men at the 50, but Scott closed in 25.14 compared to Barrett’s 25.46.
Jack Thorpe (49.44), Calum Jarvis (49.47) and Kieran McGuckin (48.92) were all also under 50 seconds. Nicholas Grainger (50.06) and Lewis Burras (50.08) took six and seventh, while Jarvis Parkinson and Yusuke Legard tied for eighth in 50.19.
200 IM Rio Olympic Silver Medalist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor took to the 50 freestyle this morning, posting a 25.32. She was followed by Anna Hopkin (25.37), Lucy Hope (25.78), Katherine Stark (25.81), Harriet Cooper (25.93), Emily Crane and Victoria Cunningham (25.96) and Jessica Jackson (25.97).
The team will be looking for someone to break the 25-second barrier tonight if they want to make any impact in this event. It would take a 24.84 to crack the worldwide top 10 and a 24.56 to be considered for Budapest.
After placing fourth in his signature event in Rio, Max Litchfield was back in the 400 IM today with the top seed in 4:16.45. Litchfield came in with his 4:11.62 from Rio, which is the exact automatic qualifying time for World Championships. He was a 4:22.87/4:15.84 in Indianapolis last month so this morning swim is a good indication that he will be faster than that tonight. He currently holds the tenth-fastest time in the world so far this year with his swim from Indy.
Richard Nagy (4:19.05) and Joe Litchfield (4:19.15) joined Max Litchfield under 4:20. This was a cruise for Nagy and a three-second drop for Joe Litchfield. Mark Szaranek (4:21.12), Fraser Minnican (4:22.91), Brodie Williams (4:23.37), Thomas Dean (4:23.81) and Nathan Hughes (4:25.30) will also swim in the A final.
In the men’s 1500 early heats, 18-year-old Harrison Coulter swam away with the top spot in 15:37.66, an 18-second drop from his previous lifetime best. William Bell was a distant second in 15:59.93 followed by Jakob Goodman in 16:00.04.
Tonight’s final will feature Stephen Milne, a Rio Olympian in this event, Daniel Jervis, Timothy Shuttleworth, Samuel Budd, Caleb Hughes, Tobias Robinson, Luke Turley and Tom Derbyshire. This will be Milne’s first 1500 this year, while Jervis and Shuttleworth have already posted the fifteenth and seventeenth fastest times in the world this year, respectively.