British Championships, Day 1 Heats: Freya Anderson & Katie Shanahan Lead The Way

Freya Anderson: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

The British Championships got under way at Ponds Forge on Tuesday morning where the event – which doubles as trials for the Fukuoka worlds – runs through until Sunday.

Freya Anderson led the way in the women’s 200 free while Katie Shanahan and Freya Colbert – third and fourth at the 2022 Commonwealth Games – renewed acquaintance as they led the field in the 400IM.

Archie Goodburn heads the men’s 100br ahead of James Wilby.

All events bar the men’s 50 back feature further heats in the afternoon and although the top-seeded swimmers go in  the morning, the results and therefore finals line-up cannot yet be confirmed until those prelims have concluded.

Women’s 50m Breaststroke

Imogen Clark led the way in 30.41 ahead of Kara Hanlon (31.03) and Katie Goodburn (31.64).

women 50br heats

Men’s 50m Backstroke

Oliver Morgan led the qualifiers into the semis in 25.07 ahead of Scott Gibson (25.31) with Cameron Brooker one of three swimmers on 25.44.

m 50 back heats

Photo Courtesy:

Women’s 200m Freestyle: QT, 1:55.86; Consideration Time, 1:56.85; British Record, 1:55.54

Abbie Wood edged Anderson by 0.02 at last year’s British Championships before the latter went on to finish fourth at the World Championships in Budapest.

Wood went in the penultimate heat, reaching the halfway point in 57.31 before coming home in 1:58.70.

Anderson was out in 57.63 in the final prelim before a strong second half of the race saw her through in 1:58.06.

Lucy Hope (1:59.44) and Mia Slevin (1:59.92) were the other women inside 2mins.

Only British record holder Jo Jackson and Siobhan O’Connor – who stands second in domestic waters with 1:55.82 en-route to silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – have been inside the qualification standard.

Touch first within that time and you’re on the plane for Fukuoka.

Anderson is the third swiftest British woman in history with a PB of 1:56.05 from 2022 worlds.

women 2 free heats PF

Men’s 400m Freestyle: QT, 3:44.06; CT, 3:46.34; British Record, 3:43.75

Kieran Bird led the way in 3:54.26 ahead of Charlie Hutchison (3:54.96) and Luke Turley (3:55.17).

mens 400 freee hts PF

Women’s 400IM; QT, 4:36.00; CT, 4:37.96; British Record, 4:31.33

Britain has been spoiled in recent years in this event with Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott gracing world, European and Commonwealth podiums as well as reaching Olympic finals.

The pair have both retired but there’s real promise in the form of Katie Shanahan and Freya Colbert.

Shanahan was the 2021 European junior champion and tasted success last year with bronze for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, 0.43 ahead of Colbert in fourth.

Colbert went on to win bronze at the 2022 European Championships in Rome weeks later and she went in the penultimate heat, dominating throughout to stop the clock at 4:47.96.

Shanahan, of University of Stirling, pulled away from Amber Keegan on the freestyle leg to touch in 4:46.36.

women 4IM heats PF

Men’s 100m Breaststroke; QT, 58.93; CT, 59.16; British Record, 56.88

There’s no Adam Peaty in the water this week with the two-time Olympic champion withdrawing from trials to focus on his mental health.

The eight-time world champion won his first domestic medal over 100br at Ponds Forge in 2013, which he upgraded to silver the following year.

Since then Peaty topped the podium at every British Champs with a winning time of 58.58 in 2022 before he was forced to pull out of Budapest worlds following a foot injury.

A new champion will be crowned with Wilby heavily fancied, the 30-year-old the only Briton bar Peaty inside the qualification time with a PB of 58.46 en-route to silver at the 2019 worlds in Gwangju.

Peaty’s coach Mel Marshall sat high in the stands watching on as Wilby touched in 1:00.39 for the second fastest time of the morning behind Archie Goodburn (1:00.35).

Greg Butler, coached by Marshall, clocked the next swiftest time in 1:00.50.

m 100br hts PF


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