Renshaw Matches British 200Br Record In 2:22.08: Peaty Goes 58.82 At Manchester International

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Molly Renshaw: Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

Molly Renshaw equalled the British 200br record in a time of 2:22.08 that would have secured bronze at Rio 2016 and Adam Peaty went 58.82 in the 100 breaststroke on the first night of finals at the Manchester International Swim Meet.

World 200 back bronze medallist Luke Greenbank, Laura Stephens, Marie Wattel and Felix Auboeck also produced some notable performances that rattled the fledgling world rankings at the Manchester Aquatic Centre.

Ellie Challis lowered her British S3 50m backstroke record for the second time in one day, setting a new mark of 55.61 which cut a further 1.91secs from the previous record of 57.52 she swam in Friday heats.

Jordan Catchpole lowered the S14 50 free record to 24.73 in the morning heats, a time he then matched in the final.

Link to results

It is the first elite competition in Britain since the Edinburgh International Meet in March 2020, barely a fortnight before the Olympics were postponed in light of the pandemic.

Some of the swimmers had competed at the International Swimming League in Budapest, Hungary, which was contested over short-course metres in October and November last year.

Manchester then was the first opportunity for the athletes to test themselves in a long-course pool in almost a year.

Molly Renshaw

Molly Renshaw; Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Renshaw executed a superb race to equal Jocelyn Ulyett‘s national mark from 2017 in a time that would have been good enough to see her on to the Rio podium and for silver at the 2019 World Championships in which she came fifth.

Coached by Dave Hemmings at the National Centre Loughborough, the three-time Commonwealth medallist split 32.69/1:08.36/1:45.11 before a final-50 blast of 36.97.

That propelled the 24-year-old to the top of the rankings ahead of Emily Escobedo of the United States who had led the way on 2:23.46.

It is of course early in the year and many of the ‘big hitters’ are yet to compete but Renshaw’s time will have been noticed on pool decks around the world.

So too with Abbie Wood, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ who blossomed on the senior stage at the ISL after a difficult transition following a successful junior career, who was second in a huge PB of 2:22.77.

Wood’s older sister Lucy – now retired – once trained with Renshaw at the Derventio club and now the pair swim daily alongside each other under the watchful eye of Hemmings.

Ulyett took third in 2:25.26.

It lowered Renshaw’s PB from 2016 and she said:

“Training has been going really and I’ve been swimming faster than I ever have in training, so it’s nice to reassure myself that I can do it in a race as well.

“Our whole group has been training really well and Abbie has been PBing in training too, so for the whole group, it’s a chance to come here and prove we can replicate the times we’ve been doing in Loughborough. Abbie did amazing, and it’s always good to have her to train with and see her doing well.

“It’s a bit strange as this is definitely not your normal kind of competition. This morning was a nice chance to blow away the cobwebs and then refocus in for tonight and try to get a time out of myself. Hopefully we’ll have spectators back on some scale soon!

“At the minute, we are just having to take every opportunity we get and we’re really grateful for that. I’m almost going into it feeling like a training swim so that I’m not putting too much pressure on myself and I’m not relying on that crowd to create an atmosphere.”


Adam Peaty: Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Peaty had gone 58.87 in the morning heats and he returned to the pool to take his place in lane four alongside James Wilby, the pair having claimed the first British one-two at a world championships when they took gold and silver in Gwangju in 2019.

The Olympic champion shot out in 27.32 and returned in 31.50 with Wilby second in 1:00.15 and Greg Butler, now at Loughborough and once coached by Mel Marshall at City of Derby, third in 1:01.78.

Peaty is the only man to have broken 59 seconds so far in 2021 although with a best of 56.88, Manchester is clearly a stepping stone and opportunity for race practice.

Greenbank shot to the top of the fledgling 200 backstroke world rankings in 1:56.33.

Not only did he displace Ryosuke Iriewho had led the way with 1:56.52 at last weekend’s Japan Open – Greenbank’s time was only 0.48 outside the 1:55.85 which secured him bronze in Gwangju in 2019.

It was also faster than Radoslaw Kawecki who finished one spot behind the Briton in 1:56.36.


Luke Greenbank: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The National Centre Loughborough swimmer’s trademark turns and underwaters saw him extend his lead throughout and he split 28.15/57.64/1:27.27 to come home in 28.56.

Brodie Williams was second (2:02.45) and Charlie Brown third in 2:03.49.

Laura Stephens went 2:08.88 to win the 200 fly, propelling herself to fourth in the rankings.

The 21-year-old, eighth at Gwangju worlds in 2:09.35, split 29.20/1:02.31/1:35.45.

Emily Large took second in 2:11.80.

Wattel sped to victory in the 50 free in 24.75, equalling the world-leading time of Rika Omoto at the Japan Open, with Anna Hopkin second in 25.19 and Freya Anderson clocking 25.22 for third.

Matt Richards won the men’s 50 in 23.06 ahead of Joe Litchfield (23.22) and Jacob Whittle (23.33) who had qualified first.

Auboeck Leads Home The 400 Free

Auboeck, the Austrian record holder, won the men’s 400 free after going away from Dan Jervis and Max Litchfield on the fifth 50.

The trio were separated by 0.31 at the halfway point but Auboeck – who trains at the National Centre Loughborough – lengthened his stroke to extend his lead, stopping the clock at 3:48.04.

Litchfield seemed to be headed for second only for Jervis to claw him back and touch by just 0.01secs in 3:50.20 to 3:50.21.

James Guy, the 2017 world bronze medallist, won the 100 fly in 52.46 ahead of Ed Mildred (52.91) and Jacob Peters (53.08).


Georgia Davies: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

European champion Georgia Davies won the 50 back in 28.56, 0.04 ahead of Sweden’s Louise Hansson in second.

Holly Hibbott led from start to finish in the opening final of the weekend for a dominant victory in the 400 free.

The National Centre Bath swimmer won in 4:11.97 – outside her morning heat time of 4:10.13 – ahead of Leah Crisp (4:16.09) and Alice Dearing (4:17.26).

In the para-swimming multi-classification races, Ellie Simmonds clocked 5:29.94 in the 400 free to edge out Maisie Summers-Newton by a mere two points with Michael Jones touching in 4:51.56 in the men’s event.

Hannah Russell sped to 28.41 in the 50 free.


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