Adam Peaty’s world record in the 100 breaststroke today at the British nationals capped off a session in which he was the only person to beat the very tough automatic qualifying times for the world championship team set by British Swimming.
Peaty blazed through the final with a 57.92, beating the world record of 58.46 by Cameron Van Der Burgh swum at the 2012 Olympics. Peaty split 27.04 at 50 meters to put him just three hundredths ahead of Van Der Burgh’s split then churned out a stunning 30.88 to become the first swimmer under 58 seconds. The 20-year-old now owns two long course world records, claiming the 50 breast record in the semifinals of the European championships last summer with a 26.62. Peaty had already owned the world’s fastest time with a 59.04 from earlier this year that now seems fairly pedestrian by his newly-formed standards.
Placing second in the historic race with a time that would be jaw-dropping on its own was Ross Murdoch with a 59.13. Great Britain now celebrates the two fastest men in the world in 2015 in the event.
— Nick Hope (@NickHopeTV) April 17, 2015
After getting touched out in the 100 freestyle after many years of leading the nation in the event, Fran Halsall took the 50 free title with a 24.37. That’s four tenths slower than she swam to set a world textile best to win the Commonwealth Games title last summer, and two hundredths of a second slower than Team GB’s automatic cut of 24.35. Halsall ranks fourth in the world with the swim, and will wait to see if she will get the opportunity to swim at worlds and get on the medal podium again after securing bronze in the event in 2013. Halsall could not be touched in the event, finishing nine tenths ahead of runner-up Lauren Quigley, who posted a 25.22.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, who was the top British swimmer at last year’s Commonwealth Games in the 100 fly with a silver medal performance, could only muster third place in tonight’s nationals finals. O’Connor, one day after posting the fastest 200 IM in the world, posted a 58.37 behind the 58.07 by runner-up Jemma Lowe. Winning the event was Rachael Kelly with a 57.72 after posting a 57.71 in prelims that put her fifth in the world but outside the qualifying time of 57.43 that would have automatically put her on the worlds roster.
Ben Proud was the only swimmer under 22 seconds in the men’s 50 free final with a 21.99. He’s tied for sixth in the world with Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen as only one of seven men under the barrier so far in 2015. As was the case through the session, Proud’s fast time couldn’t approach the British automatic qualifying time of 21.65. Proud is the only swimmer remaining in the previous generation of top British sprinters that included Adam Brown, making way for rising stars Thomas Fannon to finish second with a 22.48 and Andrew Weatheritt to place third with a 22.50.
Dan Wallace, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion in the 400 IM and a 2013 worlds finalist in the event, won tonight with a 4:12.78. That’s not far off the 4:11.20 he swam last year to win at Commonwealths, a big achievement given that he came off the NCAA championships just two weeks ago. He’ll have to wait to see if it’s fast enough to get back to the world championships, as he falls shy of the automatic qualifying time of 4:10.49, which is faster than Wallace’s national record of 4:11.09 from the Commonwealth Games heats. Roberto Pavoni kept pace with Wallace through 250 meters, but fell back to finish second with a 4:14.37. Lewis Smith took third with a 4:18.24.
Sophie Taylor got into the top 15 in the women’s 100 breast world rankings with a 1:07.39. It’s currently 12th with seven swims in the low-1:07 range ahead of her. Sarah Vassey took second with a 1:08.12 ahead of the 1:08.37 by Molly Renshaw.