British Championships: Freya Anderson Edges Anna Hopkin By 0.04 To Complete 100/200 Free Double

Freya Anderson BSC 2023
Freya Anderson: Photo Courtesy: Morgan Harlow/British Swimming

British Championships: Freya Anderson Edges Anna Hopkin By 0.04 To Complete 100/200 Free Double

Freya Anderson edged Anna Hopkin by 0.04 to add the 100 free to her 200 crown as both women went inside the consideration time for Fukuoka worlds at the British Championships.

It leaves both women with consideration times for the World Championships in two events – the 100 and 200 free for Anderson, who made her maiden voyage inside 1:56 in the latter, and the 50 and 100 for Hopkin after her dash gold on Thursday.

Katie Shanahan (200 back) and Jacob Peters (100 fly) also made consideration times in their respective events while James Wilby added the 200br to his 100 title.

Three swimmers – Freya Colbert, Dan Jervis and Laura Stephens – have made the automatic cut while Lewis Burras, Duncan Scott, Matt Richards and Emily Large have also posted consideration times.

British Swimming announced an amendment to the selection policy on Friday morning removing the cap of eight discretionary picks meaning they can select as many as they choose on that basis up to the team size limit of 30.

This follows the prioritising of relays and will ensure their strength in Fukuoka where they’ll also be looking to qualify relay spots at Paris 2024.

Hopkin swam the anchor leg as Britain won mixed medley relay gold at the Tokyo Olympics and she made an eye-watering start, reaching the 50 in 25.42 to Anderson’s 25.89.

Freya Anderson (photo: Mike Lewis)

Freya Anderson: Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

With contrasting styles, the pair battled it out in the centre lanes with Anderson clawing back the water before drawing on to the British record-holder’s shoulder, her long arms getting the touch with Lucy Hope third in 54.34.

The nine-time European relay champion said:

“It’s really nice to get that 100 title back, a quicker time than I expected.

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve gone about this season and it’s nice to see hard work’s paying off.”

Coached by Dave McNulty at Bath Performance Centre, Anderson told how she and Hopkin would drive each other on, saying:

“We were joking before that Anna’s come from the 50 and I’ve come from the 2 so we sort of meet in the middle which does result in very different race plans – Anna goes out really fast and I’ve got to claw it back.

“That really works, we push each other, and it’s great for the relay as well to have two sub-54s.”

Her performances in Sheffield are indicative of a happier swimmer than the one at Ponds Forge last year.

“A big difference: definitely a lot happier and I’m really happy to say that I’ve done full blocks of training, there’s been nothing hindering me for once, touch wood.

“It’s really nice to see that hard work does pay off: I had to remain calm because last trials wasn’t the best for me.

“You’ve just got to trust the process, trust my coach Dave and all the team around me. Everyone works really hard: you just see me up on the blocks but there’s a team of hundreds of people behind me that have helped me get there so really happy.”

Anna Hopkin BSC23

Anna Hopkin: Photo Courtesy: Morgan Harlow/British Swimming

Hopkin, who set the British record of 52.75 in the heats in Tokyo before finishing seventh in the final, said:

“Quite a short week for me. I was happy with that. The 50 I was really happy with, I wasn’t expecting to go that quick.

“I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker in the 100 – I maybe took it out a little bit hard and paid for it at the end but it’s good to know that speed’s there – I just need to build on the end part of it.

“Doing those times at this point of the season is pretty much where I’ve been at the last couple of years so I’m hoping that bodes well going into the summer and we can drop back down closer to my PB.”

Peters Flies To Win Over Training Mate Guy

Another of McNulty’s charges, Peters has won world, European and Commonwealth relay medals but is still looking for his first individual visit to an international podium.

Guy crossed himself as he stood on the blocks immediately before the race.

Peters reached halfway at 23.69, 0.42 ahead of Guy (24.11) and Fraser (24.19), a lead he extended down the second 50 to touch in 51.16, inside the consideration time of 51.56.

Guy was second in 51.63 with Jamie Ingram rounding out the podium in 51.98.

Peters – who trains with Guy – said:

“We’re great teammates, great friends. I’ve been racing him for a while now and it’s nice to say I’ve eventually got one up on him, but it’s far from over – we’ll be racing each other again this summer and fighting each other for those relay spots.

“But to be honest, I couldn’t ask for a better competitor and training partner. I’m really looking forward to going back to Japan, hopefully being able to see a bit more of it than last time and with a bit of a crowd. I’m stoked to be going out there, I can’t wait for it.”

Back To The Future For Shanahan

Colbert already has two golds this week in the 400IM – in which she made the worlds cut – and 800 free.

The 19-year-old led the way in the prelims in 2:11.31 ahead of Shanahan posting the second swiftest time of 2:11.58.

The pair had a thrilling duel in the long medley which evoked memories of Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott and the four-length race promised to be a close-run thing.

Katie Shanahan

Katie Shanahan: Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Shanahan won bronze representing Team Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and silver at Europeans in Rome days later and she reached the 50m mark first in 30.44.

The pair were clear of the field at halfway with the Scot holding an 0.70secs advantage.

The 18-year-old was a second ahead at 150 and touched in 2:07.81 for her second consideration time of the meet and a new PB.

Colbert was second in 2:08.73 with Evie Dilley third in 2:12.70.

Shanahan – who trains at the University of Stirling – said:

“Coming into that I really wanted to go under 2:08 again, maybe even go 2:06, but to go 2:07 high, I am happy with.

“I wasn’t expecting Freya [Colbert] to do this event but I’m happy that she was next to me. I could see her coming down that last 15 metres and I can’t lie I was struggling!

“I’m really good friends with Freya and we’ve been really close since 2019 so it’s great to have that relationship outside the pool, which helps inside.”

Wilby Wins 200 For Breaststroke Double

Wilby won the European title last year in Rome but it was Archie Goodburn who reached the 50m mark 0.27 ahead in pole position.

By the time the halfway point was reached Wilby had turned that deficit into a 0.62 advantage over the Scot and was 0.86 ahead of Greg Butler at the final turn in 1:35.68.

James Wilby World Trials

James Wilby: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Wilby, coached by Dave Hemmings at Loughborough Performance Centre, touched in 2:09.88 ahead of Butler (2:10.69) and George Smith (2:13.10).

He said:

“I’m happy with that, it’s a decent time. It’s a slightly challenging programme in four days, but it gets more challenging when we go to the internationals, so it’s certainly something I have to be aware of when planning for those. 

“I’m happy with the time generally, I’d have loved to have been a little faster and closer to some of the times.

“But there’s a little unfamiliarity to racing for me, this is only my third competition since last summer, so still unfortunately maybe I misjudged it everso slightly in terms of racing prep and competition prep, but those are lessons to be learned, and better now than this time next year or even this summer or next summer.”

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