Siobhan-Marie O’Connor On Top Of The World In 200 IM

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor
Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was the only swimmer to beat British Swimming’s tough world championship qualifying standards today at the British nationals, dipping under 2:10 to win the 200 individual medley.

O’Connor, who upset multiple national champion Fran Halsall in the 100 free on Tuesday, was not challenged in the 200 IM final, beating national legend Hannah Miley by two seconds with a 2:09.51. That beat Great Britiain’s qualifying time of 2:10.20 and ranks her first in the world, joining Kanako Watanabe as the only swimmers under 2:10 so far in 2015. O’Connor won the Commonwealth Games title in the 200 IM last year with a 2:08.21, so there is likely more to come from the 19-year-old in Kazan at worlds in August.

Miley was expected to be a bigger challenger, but she could not hold O’Connor’s pace and finished second with a 2:11.65. Though it is faster than the FINA “A” qualifying time for worlds, it’s not as fast as British Swimming deems necessary to go to worlds, so Miley might not get to swim the event this summer. Aimee Willmott was third with a 2:13.30.

Two other swimmers got close to the automatic qualifying times for worlds tonight in London. Jazz Carlin, one day removed from winning the 400 freestyle, posted an 8:21.58 to easily win the 800 freestyle. It’s the third-fastest time in the world, but not faster than Great Britain’s qualifying time of 8:21.22. It’s likely that Carlin will get to swim the race in Kazan by virtue of qualifying in the 400 free. As was the case with O’Connor, Carlin was racing the clock, as Jessica Thielmann placed a distant second with an 8:32.19, while Camilla Hattersley was third with an 8:37.99.

It was a very tight battle for the win in the women’s 100 backstroke, as three ladies nearly broke the 1:00 barrier in an attempt to beat the qualifying time of 59.59. Elizabeth Simmonds took the win with a 1:00.03 for the win, which is seventh in the world rankings. Simmonds will likely get the opportunity to swim the 100 back in Kazan, at least for relay duty. Lauren Quigley turned first at 50 meters but couldn’t get to the finish first, placing second with a 1:00.16. Fran Halsall, branching out into the 100 back, was third with a 1:00.29.

Stephen Milne needed a personal best in order to qualify for worlds in the 1500 freestyle, but the 20-year-old was unable to reach that, winning with a 14:58.25, seven seconds off the qualifying time of 14:51.06 and five seconds slower than his lifetime best. Milne’s swim ranks third in the world and one of five sub-15:00 swims so far this year. Whether Team GB decides to include him on the world team as a result of tonight’s performance is yet to be determined. Caleb Hughes posted a 15:04.76 for second and jay Lelliott was third with a 15:09.51.

Joe Patching, who just completed his sophomore season at Auburn University in the United States, took command of the 200 backstroke final, leading through 150 meters. But Craig McNally had an extra gear in the final stretch, touching out Patching for the win with a 1:57.58 to Patching’s 1:58.17. The times are fast, ranking in the top 15 in the world, but not faster than the British standard of 1:55.30 to qualify for worlds.

2015 British Long Course Nationals, Day 3 – Results

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