British Championships: Ben Proud Wins 50 Free As First Three Go Inside 22: Shanahan & Wood Make Fukuoka Cut In 200IM

Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

British Championships: Ben Proud Wins 50 Free As First Three Go Inside 22: Shanahan & Wood Make Fukuoka Cut In 200IM

Ben Proud all but booked his ticket to Fukuoka with victory in the 50 free as the first three men home all went inside 22secs at the British Championships in Sheffield.

Katie Shanahan and Abbie Wood both made the cut for the British team for the World Championships following a closely-fought duel which the former won by 0.06 in a Scottish record of 2:09.40.

Tom Dean and Duncan Scott also contested a back-and-forth battle in the men’s 200IM with the former winning by 0.07 as both men posted consideration times at Ponds Forge.

It means five swimmers have now booked outright slots for Fukuoka with Proud and Dean adding their names to those who’ve posted consideration times.

Lewis Burras – winner of the 100 free – led the way in the 50 prelims with Matt Richards going 22.21 to lower his PB and Welsh record while Proud executed a controlled swim in 22.33.

Proud hasn’t been beaten in a long-course pool in international waters since the Tokyo Olympics, with world, European and Commonwealth titles to his name and he led from the outset to win in 21.71, inside the consideration time of 21.85.

Burras was second in 21.93 with Richards going inside 22 for the first time in 21.98.


Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Proud said:

“It feels brilliant. This morning was a little bit ropey: I haven’t done so much racing this year and to be honest, my preparation for this has been a little bit different.

“So really had to draw as much as I can out of myself because if I didn’t dip under 22 I would have been third and that would have made some real complications for this year.

“So I really had to get in the zone and have some good practice.

“So really chuffed with that but also happy for the other guys, two guys dipping under 22 – Matt Richards for the first time, super-cool to see and it’s just great to be a part of some real racing.”

Sprinting in Britain is in a fine place but Proud said:

“We have never really chosen to develop sprinting – it’s only a couple of guys who decide they want to do it,  step up and do the work and it’s showing.

“That 4×1 team is incredible – it’s going to be great to watch it and naturally those guys doing it will be good at the 50 as well.

“It’s nice to see that but also nice to get that title here even though I was just looking to do what I can to qualify and do the bare minimum to get through and try to really get the best performances this summer obviously when it matters.”

200IM Duo Punch Tickets To Japan

Wood – fourth in Tokyo – headed the prelims and reached the 50 ahead in 27.62.

Not surprisingly Shanahan came back on the backstroke to lead by 0.58 in 1:00.10 to 1:00.68.

Wood then responded on the breaststroke, reaching the final turn 0.18 ahead in 1:38.12 but the pair went stroke for stroke on the final 50 and it was the Scot who got the touch in 2:09.40 to 2:09.46.

It meant both women went inside the automatic cut for Fukuoka with Shanahan setting a new Scottish record and eclipsing by 0.06 Hannah Miley’s 2:09.46 from the 2009 worlds.

Leah Schlossan was next home in 2:11.72.

Katie Shanahan & Abbie Wood

Katie Shanahan & Abbie Wood: Photo Courtesy: Morgan Harlow, British Swimming

Shanahan, who’d already set consideration times in the 200 back and 400IM, said:

“If I didn’t have Abbie down that last 50m, I would not have been able to do the time I’ve done. I could definitely see her in the last five metres and whoever had won, I’d have been happy.

“I’d probably say that the 200m individual medley [was my standout for the week], actually. After the 400IM, I was really pleased with that, and then my 200 back, but this race has been my highlight and ending my week on that, I’m really, really happy.

“I could not have done any of those three swims without the people in the background. There is such a big team pushing us on – it’s not only us in the pool, it’s not just the girls, it’s everybody on poolside, coaches, family and everything.”

Wood, whose PB stands at 2:09.15, added:

“I am just so grateful that Katie was there, pushing me on. I haven’t gone that time in a couple of years now, and I think without her there, I wouldn’t have been able to do it – and she did an amazing PB.

“I knew I was on good form from the freestyle, they were PBs for me and I just wanted to get my name in the hat for the relays. Freya [Colbert], Laura [Stephens], Katie – they’ve been such standout girls this week, and just to know we’ve all been doing the work and trained together, in altitude, we’ve been pushing it on together.”

Dean Edges Out Scott After Final Length Battle

Dean – the Olympic 200 free champion – was the only man to post a sub-2min time in prelims of 1:59.90 ahead of Joe Litchfield and Scott only for the former to withdraw from the final.

Scott held a lead of 0.11 at the final turn only for Dean to claw back the deficit on the freestyle leg, moving on to the Olympic silver medallist’s shoulder and a slither beyond to stop the clock in 1:56.65.

Scott was 0.07 behind in 1:56.72 as both men posted consideration times with Mark Szaranek third in 2:00.59.

Dean paid tribute to Scott who won gold to the Englishman’s silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.

That came a year after Dean won the 200 free in Tokyo, one place ahead of Scott.

Tom Dean of Great Britain competes in the 200m Freestyle Men Final during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 18th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Tom Dean: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

He said:

“Duncan is an incredible athlete, I’ve always said that – he just happens to be an incredible athlete that does the same events I do, which is part and parcel of it.

“Coming from the same country I always think is quite good because I know I’m always going to get a good race when I come here and that’s always a lot of fun. I think it’s good for the sport and it’s good for British Swimming.

“Head to head at Commies he got the touch on the 200m free and the 200IM but at the Olympics I managed to get the touch on the 200m free and here again on the 200IM, so I think it’s really great for the sport.

“I’m excited for the 200 free, it’s more of a main event than the 200IM, so hopefully I’ll be able to be a bit stronger on that.

“I’ve been training more for the free than the IM but loads more guys are doing the 200 free than the 200IM. It’s a stacked race because everyone wants to be in the 4x200m team, but I know the engine’s there, which is good.”

Jervis Continues Distance Domination


Dan Jervis: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Jervis made the cut with the second-fastest 1500 of his career earlier in the week.

The Welshman returned for the 16-length race in which he was 10th at the 2022 worlds in Budapest.

He was up by over a bodylength at the 200m mark which he reached in 1:53.21, a lead he’d extended to 3.5secs by 400, on 3:51.98.

With 100 remaining, Jervis was on 6:50.17 and he came home in 7:47.81, a consideration time, and his 10th British title.

Luke Turley was second in 7:52.10 with Tobias Robinson third in 7:56.86.

Third Gold For Colbert; Cox Wins 50 Back

Colbert entered the race with golds in the 400IM and 800 free as well as 200 back silver behind Shanahan.

The Loughborough Performance Centre swimmer booked lane four and was two bodylengths ahead at the 100, going through in 59.47.

The 19-year-old was completely dominant and was more than 5secs ahead of Leah Crisp at 300 before coming home in 4:06.80 for gold medal number three.

Crisp was second in 4:12.85 with Shannon Stott next home in 4:13.87.

Amelie Blacksidge – the 13-year-old who went 8:38 for second in the 800 – set an age group record of 4:14.50 in fifth.

Medi Harris – winner of the 100 back – headed the 50 back prelims in 28.27 ahead of Lauren Cox (28.63) and Blythe Kinsman (28.74).

Harris rose right on 15m and was slightly ahead of Cox only for the Loughborough University swimmer to inch in front and touch in 27.81, 0.05 ahead.

Harris clocked 27.86 with Kinsman third in 28.32.






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