GB Trials, Day 4 Finals: Proud Gives Demonstration; Hopkin, Peters & Wilson All Tokyo-Bound

Freya Anderson (photo: Mike Lewis)
Freya Anderson: Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

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Ben Proud showcased a demonstration in sprint freestyle as four more swimmers all but booked their tickets to the Tokyo Olympics in July at the British Swimming Selection Trials.

The top two in each event within the consideration time will be nominated to Team GB where they will join Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, James Wilby and Luke Greenbank who were all pre-selected by virtue of reaching the individual podium at the 2019 World Championships.

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Women’s 100 Free

British record: 52.87, Fran Halsall, 2009 World Championships

Consideration time: 53.88

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Anna Hopkin: Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

Freya Anderson and Anna Hopkin both clocked 54.13 in the heats to book the centre lanes as expected.

Hopkin – with her distinctive straight-arm stroke – was out ahead down the first 50 and turned  25.43, 0.40secs ahead of Anderson.

But the Bath NTC swimmer had a good turn and came back down the second 50 to just take the touch in 53.40 with Hopkin – coached by Mel Marshall at Loughborough NTC – next in 53.49.

Both women were inside the cut to book their first Olympics with Lucy Hope setting a new Scottish record of 54.19 in third, slicing 0.12 from Caitlin McClatchey’s mark from the 2008 British Championships.

Next was 16-year-old Evelyn Davies who touched in 54.69 although the quartet’s combined time was 0.3 outside that required for a 4×1 in Tokyo.

Anderson – who had already booked a slot in the 200 free – said:

“I know how fast Anna is on the first 50 so that’s the only way I can swim it, to try to claw it back!

“It’s amazing we both got under the time, it’s really good to see the 100 free become so competitive.”

Everyone involved in the meet has been involved in a strict bubble with limits to pool and hotel.

Anderson said:

“It has definitely been different. There’s not much atmosphere with the crowd but I’ve got a great support team around me which makes it seem easier so it has made it really fun.”

It was the first race of the week for Hopkin who moved to Marshall’s group after returning from the United States where she had found success with the University of Arkansas.

Marshall told Swimming World in April 2020 that she was looking forward to working with the “starlet” Hopkin with another of the stable on the Tokyo team where she’ll join Adam Peaty and Luke Greenbank.

Hopkin said:

“I was really happy with that. I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker but this year has been so uncertain and it has been difficult to know what form I’m in so to be that close to my best time and under the consideration time, I’m over the moon.

“It has been great the last few months. I changed programme a year ago s it has been great training with Mel and with my new team-mates and I am just glad it is all going really well.”

Men’s 50 Free

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Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

British record: 21.11, Ben Proud, 2018 European Championships

Consideration time: 21.78

Proud gave a demonstration of 50 freestyle swimming with the two-time Commonwealth champion emerging ahead after his customary fine start.

He left the field behind to touch in 21.42 – just 0.01 ahead of Vlad Morozov’s world-leading time of 21.41 from the Russian Championships.

The 2018 European champion – who is the fourth-fastest man in history – was well within the consideration time.

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Behind him were Yusuke Legard (22.10) and Jacob Whittle, the 16-year-old returning from setting a national age group record of 22.40 in the heats to clock 22.55.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

British record: 2:06.66, Gemma Spofforth, 2009 World Championships

Consideration time: 2:08.44

Kathleen Dawson 100m Back heats

Photo Courtesy: Georgia Kerr, British Swimming

Kathleen Dawson continued the form that has her talking of Olympic podiums as a last 50 of 32.42 guided her to a new Scottish record of 2:08.14.

With that she took a huge chunk off the record of 2:09.44 she had set at the British Swimming Invitational Meet in Manchester last month.

The University of Stirling swimmer went 58.24 in the 100 earlier in the meet – just 0.12 off Gemma Spofforth’s European mark – and said she wasn’t sure if she would compete in the 200 if she was to qualify.

Now she has that quandary to solve.

Cassie Wild – who also booked a slot in the 100 – was second in 2:10.94 ahead of Honey Osrin (2:11.76) although both women were outside the consideration time.

Dawson said:

“I’m delighted. It feels amazing. I knew I’d got the job done in the 100m, so I was coming into this and having some fun, as much as you can in the 200m back, so it’s great to come away with the time.

“I’ve just been working really well with the coaches, I’ve been applying myself in training all the time, just doing what they’re telling me to do, and it’s working!

“I’d love to be in that mixed 4x100m medley in Tokyo, I know that’s a huge medal chance so that would be amazing.”

Men’s 100 Fly

British record: 50.67, James Guy, 2017 World Championships

Consideration time: 51.96

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James Guy: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Guy had already booked a slot on the 200 fly with the gutsiest of swims and he went out in the shorter race from the front to turn in 23.88, the only sub-24 of the field.

The world 2017 bronze medallist came back in 27.56 to stop the clock at 51.44 to all but book a second individual event come Tokyo.

Behind him Jacob Peters – who won European 4×100 medley gold after swimming the heats – touched in 51.65.

It was a huge PB for the 20-year-old who came into the race with a best of 52.1 to find himself on the Olympic team.

Ed Mildred was third in 52.67.

Guy said:

“It’s been a good few days so far, having had a good 200m fly on the first day.

“That’s the fastest I’ve been for a few years, so things are going quite well. It’s not quite the time I was hoping for, but hopefully I can progress that at the Olympics.

“I’m going to go back home, have a nice dinner, relax, put on some Benidorm (TV programme) and just chill out!”

Peters was on top of the world after booking a slot to join some Bath team-mates on the plane to Tokyo whilst also nodding to his former head coach Barry Alldrick at Poole Swimming Club.

“Watching Kieran Bird, Brodie Williams and Matt Richards from our squad swimming so well, it was really pushing me on, inspirational.

“I remember on Wednesday when Kieran did that 400m freestyle, I was jumping around the bedroom!

“Obviously I’ve moved to Bath National Centre this year, that’s been a great help. Most of my work was done back at Poole Swimming Club, I’d like to give Barry a big shout-out as I wouldn’t be here without him.”

Women’s 200IM

British record: 2:06.88, Siobhan O’Connor, 2016 Olympic Games

Consideration time: 2:11.10

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

There is no Siobhan O’Connor at this week’s meet with the Olympic silver medallist unable to compete after ulcerative colitis – a condition she has lived with since 15 – prevented her from training.

Abbie Wood was the fastest qualifier and came in having already booked a place in the 200br where she went 2:21 behind Molly Renshaw‘s new British record.

It was a close-run thing though. Wood led after the first 50 with Alicia Wilson going ahead on the backstroke to turn 1:00.56 to 1:01.15.

A breaststroke leg of 36.76 propelled Wood into the lead but the pair were in a real tussle down the final 50.

Wood stopped the clock at 2:09.23 – a new PB – with Wilson 0.38 behind in 2:09.61 as both women went comfortably within the consideration time.

Wood – who is coached by Dave Hemmings at Loughborough – said:

“I was just wanting to have a fun race tonight.

“I felt the pressure was off after the 200m breaststroke and I knew I was in better form than I thought I was, so I just wanted to see what I could get out of me. It was a good race with Alicia.”

Wilson – who clocked a new 1.5sec PB – added:

“Honestly, when I was sitting and having a nap earlier, I was just wanting to get below 2:11 – so to do that was a shock!

“It’s definitely hard because I don’t have my team-mates here. I’m just thankful to have the coaching team I do, because that has definitely compensated for it.

“Honestly, I’m not sure about my expectations for the summer, just to do my best and see if I can get on a team.”

 

 


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