Lewis Burras 0.01 Off British 100 Free Record In World-Leading 47.88; Tom Dean Also Inside Worlds Cut At National Champs

7th April 2022, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield, England ; 2022 British Swimming Championships
Lewis Burras (centre): Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr

Lewis Burras went within 0.01 of Duncan Scott’s national 100 freestyle record in 47.88 as he became the first man inside 48secs this year at the British Championships in Sheffield.

It came minutes after Scott joked he hoped his national 100 free mark of 47.87 he swam at the 2019 British Championships and matched at last year’s Olympic selection meet would withstand the quality of Thursday evening’s final.

That followed Scott’s own record-breaking exploits in the 400IM where he set a British and Commonwealth mark of 4:09.18 on a night that served up some real excitement with the meet doubling as trials for the World Championships in Budapest in June.

Burras served notice in the morning prelims when he went 48.15 to go third in the British all-time rankings and matched the consideration time in the process.

He returned to the Ponds Forge pool to split 22.68/25.20 thereby displacing Maxime Grousset at the top of the rankings after the Frenchman had gone 48.03 at French nationals a couple of hours previously.

Behind him came Olympic 200 free champion Tom Dean, whose time of 48.06 was also within the cut of 48.15 for Budapest, with Jacob Whittle setting an age group record of 48.24.

Matt Richards, part of the victorious 4x200m relay in Tokyo, was fourth in 49.20 with the promise of a fine 4×100 freestyle relay to come.

It was a sliver outside Scott’s British mark of 47.87 with the six-time Olympic medallist having opted out of the 100 free to focus on the long medley.

Burras said:

“I watched the men’s 100 free last year having just undergone a hernia operation but I knew those boys were on to something special.

“If I was going to turn up today and do what I needed to do, I’d have to do something pretty special.

“I took it out pretty hard, I had to attack my turn, hit my three kicks and keep the breathing pattern going.

“The big focus was try and stay in the middle of the lane and not let either Tom or Jacob ride that wave home.

“Then I got to the 10m mark and I told myself ‘pain is temporary’ and that helped me get my head down.”

7th April 2022, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield, England ; 2022 British Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

It has been a winding road for the 22-year-old who started out at Hamilton Aquatics in the United Arab Emirates.

He went to the University of Virginia in summer 2018 but his time there was short-lived and he left after about six months.

“Unfortunately things didn’t necessarily work out,” he said.

“I have to look back at that, take accountability for my actions, and things I could have done better.”

He returned home, and spent six months out of the water, before going out to the University of South Carolina in June 2019.

Off eight weeks of training he competed at the US Summer Nationals, winning the B final in 48.5, and stayed until April 2021.

Covid, however, took its toll  – “the straw that broke the camel’s back” – and returned home once more to recuperate before being put in touch with Zoe Baker, former world record holder and head coach at the Winchester City Penguins, starting his season in October 2021.

There was a junior career alongside the likes of Dean which took in 50m free bronze at the 2018 European Junior Championships.

Watching Tokyo was not necessarily a comfortable experience for Burras but one that stirred him.

“It’s odd. These guys are some of the best swimmers in the world…..and to see them there I knew I had let myself down in a way.

“But it has definitely given me a bit more fire to push on now for this cycle.”

Hopkin Wins 50 Free A Week After Covid

Anna Hopkin went 24.85 to win the 50 free – 0.50secs outside the cut although she has been preselected to the team courtesy of anchoring the mixed medley relay to Tokyo gold.

Hopkin, coached by Mel Marshall at Loughborough, was the only woman inside 25secs as she continued to stamp her dominance on the event in British waters.

That despite having tested positive for Covid last week, something she described as “a little bit of a bump in the road!”

She told Swimming World:

“I tested positive last Wednesday and then it was mainly just a cold and then getting back I felt a bit lethargic.

“Monday was the first day I started to feel myself: it was quite a quick turnaround coming into this.

“This isn’t the focal meet anyway: we’ve got a really busy summer so throwing that into the mix as well (it) has been a bit of an uncertain week but I am pretty happy with how I have swum considering.”

Dan Jervis – who had been preselected in the 1500 free following his fifth place in Tokyo – won in 14:58.63 while Laura Stephens was outside the 200 fly cut in 2:08.11.

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V Burman
5 months ago

Awesome result Lewis 👏👏