Olympic 4×200 Champion Matt Richards Wins 50 Free At Swim England Winter Championships

Matt Richards: Photo Courtesy: Speedo

Olympic 4×200 free relay champion Matt Richards won the men’s 50 free at the Swim England National Winter Championships 2021 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

Richards, who trains at Bath National Centre, swam the third leg in Tokyo after Tom Dean and James Guy and handed over to Duncan Scott who anchored the British quartet home to gold.

In Sheffield, he was the only swimmer to break 22secs as he clocked 21.96 ahead of fellow Tokyo Olympian Jacob Whittle (22.24), who anchored the British 4×100 free squad as they missed out on the final by one place and 0.04 in Japan.

Loughborough University’s Alex Cohoon won bronze with a time of 22.30, shaving 0.12 off his time for the morning’s heats.

Richards said:

“Everything in that race went wrong compared to this morning but the time was slightly quicker but I’m in a bit of a weird space in training at the moment so I’m just trying to find the balance between pushing it and getting the processes right.

“That was ever so slightly quicker, but it was a less good race technically but that’s good because it means there’s more to come.

“I’m still really happy with that, it’s a good position to be in for the 100m so I have that now for World Short Course and for later in the season. It shows I’ve got the twitch ready to go so I’m happy with that.”

Molly Renshaw Glasgow 2021

Molly Renshaw: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Two-time Olympian Molly Renshaw was 0.34 outside her British record as she took gold in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.07.

Renshaw, who set the national mark of 1:04.73 at the 2020 ISL, was sixth in the 200br in Tokyo in July in which she will compete on Sunday.

The Loughborough swimmer said of her 100:

“I swam it a bit different this morning, I went out a little bit faster but then I paid for it in the back 50 so tonight was just about balancing things.

“It was about a second and a half quicker than this morning so quite a big improvement. I’ve got the day off tomorrow and then I’ve got the 200 breaststroke on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to it, I think I’ve definitely been doing a little bit more sprint training since I’ve been back in the water but my back 50 on my 100 was really good then so that’s a bit of confidence going into Sunday. If I can win that then I’ll be really happy.”

Molly Mayne was second in 1:06.91 with Sienna Robinson and Hazal Ozkan tying for third in 1:07.33.

Alice Dearing – who in Tokyo became the first black female swimmer to represent Team GB at the Olympics – was second in the 800 free in 8:33.71, behind Amber Keegan (8:30.17) and narrowly ahead of Leah Crisp who was third in 8:33.74.

Kieran Bird won the men’s 400 free in 3:39.97 comfortably ahead of fellow Tokyo Olympian Joe Litchfield who clocked 3:42.10.

Jacob Peters, who was also on the GB team in Japan, won the 100 fly in 50.20.