British Short Course Grand Prix: Three Near Worlds Records on First Night

LEEDS, Great Britain, August 6. FAST swimming did not end just because the FINA World Championships came to a close. The British Short Course Grand Prix had three near world record performances on the first night of action.

Fran Halsall put a charge into the women's 100 free with a sizzling 51.79. That swim just missed Libby Trickett's (then Lenton) world record of 51.70 set in 2005. Halsall smashed her national record of 52.36 set in 2008. Canada's Victoria Poon finished second in 52.80, quicker than Erica Morningstar's Canadian record of 53.21 set in 2007. Genevieve Saumur wound up third in 53.14 for Canada.

Canada's Audrey Lacroix provided another world record scare in the women's 200 fly. She stopped the clock in 2:03.20, just missing Yuuko Nakanishi's world record of 2:03.12. Lacroix smashed her Canadian standard of 2:04.53 from 2007. Teammates Tanya Hunks (2:06.25) and Kendra Chernoff (2:06.91) finished second and third behind her.

Hannah Miley gave another world record a run, this time the women's 200 IM global mark felt some heat. Miley charged through the swim in 2:06.70 to join Kirsty Coventry in the 2:06 range. Coventry set the world mark with a 2:06.13 back in 2008. Miley throttled her British record of 2:08.31 set in 2008. Canada's Julia Wilkinson finished second overall in 2:07.01 to paste Erica Morninstar's Canadian record of 2:09.12 set in February. Hunks captured third in 2:10.29.

Joseph Roebuck claimed the men's 200 IM title with a 1:54.90, while Lewis Smith placed second in 1:56.63. Canada's Bogdan Knezevic completed the top three in 1:57.40.

Achieng Ajulu-Bushell touched out Canada's Annamay Pierse in the women's 50 breast, 30.11 to 30.12. Amanda Reason wound up third overall in 30.65.

In another exciting finish, Adam Brown touched out Canada's Brent Hayden in the men's 50 free, 21.46 to 21.47. Charles Turner completed the podium with a third-place 21.50.

Antony James posted a 50.42 in the men's 100 fly to clear the British record of 50.93 set by James Hickman in 2004. Ian Hulme placed second in 51.27 with Joe Bartoch of Canada finishing third in 51.45 to tie Mike Mintenko's Canadian record set in 2002.

Canada's Katy Murdoch crushed her national record in the women's 100 back with a 57.03 to 57.18 triumph over Elizabeth Simmonds. Murdoch cleared a pair of 58.67s she set this year. Simmonds lowered her British record of 57.51 set in 2008. Sinead Russell of Canada finished third in 58.95.

Ben Stasiulis walked away with the men's 200 back title in 1:49.89. Chris Walker-Heborn finished second in 1:50.73, while Matthew Hawes claimed third in 1:52.21.

Canada's Ryan Cochran touched in 3:39.10 in the men's 400 free. The swim beat his national record of 3:41.28 set in March. Ross Davenport placed second in 3:40.32, while Blake Worsley of Canada took third in 3:41.76.