In what is now becoming a customary early season hit out for Britain’s swimmers, a large contingent was once again in action at the Flanders Cup meet in Antwerp this weekend. As would be expected there was a large medal haul, but there was also some quick January swimming.
Leading the British charge was Adam Peaty, who produced the top male swim of the meet in the 100m breaststroke. Peaty simply can’t swim slowly at the moment, crushing the field with a dominant 59.48 – 1.2s ahead of Olympic 200m champion Daniel Gyurta. He also won the 50m event for good measure with a swift 27.19.
Taking the corresponding meet honours on the ladies side was Jazz Carlin. Fresh from a training camp in Doha with her new Bath teammates, she posted an solid early season 800m freestyle mark of 8:25.18. She also took a win in the 400 free, in a more circumspect 4:10.83.
Another to impress from the distance events, but on the men’s team, was James Guy who took a clear win in the 400m freestyle by almost 5 seconds in 3:45.77. That represents his third best performance ever in the event, and sets him up for another strong year. He also won the 200m freestyle in 1:46.94 and popped up in the 400IM where he narrowly missed out on a third gold to GB teammate Roberto Pavoni, 4:19.61 to 4:19.56.
It was the 400IM at this meet last year which saw Aimee Willmott start to make big strides and she retained her top podium place this year in 4:35.74 as well as showing up well in a number of other finals. Her London Aquatic Centre teammate Sophie Taylor showed that her move down south is going well, taking a breaststroke sprint double over 50 and 100m, the latter being the pick in 1:07.86.
Following her home in third was an excellent performance from Stockport’s Katie Matts who carved 1.36s off her personal best to finish on 1:08.53, moving her up to 9th on the all time GB rankings (and 5th of those still swimming). Sandwiched between Matts and Taylor was Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in 1:08.17, who was showing great versatility across the meet. In addition to that podium visit in the breaststroke, O’Connor posted a 55.30 100 free, a 1:58.28 200 free and a 2:10.84 200IM for a good weekend’s work all round.
— Lauren Quigley (@LaurenAQuigley) January 25, 2015
Further breaststroke hardware on the women’s side came from Molly Renshaw who took the 200m event in 2:26.12. Renshaw started from a similar level in 2014, a season that saw her go on to break the British record.
Another multiple winner was Ben Proud who took a 50m sprint double in freestyle and fly, the former in an encouraging 22.26, solid for a time of year not suited to fast twitch, and also dipped under 50s in the 100m free.
There were many other British medals to round out an overall haul of 56, including 20 gold, but this meet is not about medals. It’s about setting off down the path to the benchmark meet of the season, and as it was last year, Flanders was a good first step.
The table below compares selected results from this year’s meet with last year’s equivalent performances. Clearly preparations will be different this time round, but it gives a benchmark of sorts to compare the relative quality. Note that only results from the top 100 in the 2015 FINA world rankings are shown.
|Event||Swimmer||2014 time||2015 Time|
|50 Freestyle Male||Proud, Benjamin||22.55||22.26|
|100 Freestyle Female||O’Connor, Siobhan-Marie||55.80||55.30|
|100 Freestyle Male||Proud, Benjamin||50.25||49.76|
|100 Freestyle Male||Jarvis, Calum||51.84||50.81|
|200 Freestyle Female||O’Connor, Siobhan-Marie||01:58.05||01:58.28|
|200 Freestyle Female||Carlin, Jazmin||01:58.45||01:59.99|
|200 Freestyle Female||Bochmann, Anne||01:58.69||02:01.11|
|200 Freestyle Female||Miley, Hannah||02:02.83||02:02.38|
|200 Freestyle Male||Renwick, Robbie||01:50.35||01:48.11|
|200 Freestyle Male||Jarvis, Calum||01:52.12||01:49.35|
|200 Freestyle Male||Milne, Stephen||01:50.95||01:50.35|
|200 Freestyle Male||Grainger, Nicholas||01:50.28||01:51.16|
|200 Freestyle Male||Litchfield, Max||01:53.87||01:51.70|
|400 Freestyle Female||Carlin, Jazmin||04:06.68||04:10.83|
|400 Freestyle Female||Willmott, Aimee||04:09.70||04:13.14|
|400 Freestyle Female||Miley, Hannah||04:11.62||04:13.70|
|400 Freestyle Female||Bochmann, Anne||04:16.24||04:26.12|
|400 Freestyle Male||Guy, James||03:53.52||03:45.77|
|400 Freestyle Male||Milne, Stephen||03:53.09||03:53.18|
|400 Freestyle Male||Litchfield, Max||03:53.81||03:54.88|
|400 Freestyle Male||Grainger, Nicholas||03:51.56||03:56.28|
|400 Freestyle Male||Smith, Lewis||03:59.94||04:04.33|
|800 Freestyle Female||Carlin, Jazmin||08:26.12||08:25.18|
|800 Freestyle Male||Milne, Stephen||08:06.93||08:10.23|
|1500 Freestyle Male||Milne, Stephen||15:16.86||15:15.27|
|1500 Freestyle Male||Grainger, Nicholas||15:10.60||15:38.21|
|50 Backstroke Female||Davies, Georgia||27.80||28.16|
|50 Backstroke Female||Quigley, Lauren||28.28||28.99|
|50 Backstroke Female||Fullalove, Jessica||29.18||29.70|
|50 Backstroke Male||Walker-Hebborn, Christopher||25.43||25.41|
|100 Backstroke Female||Quigley, Lauren||01:00.53||01:00.62|
|100 Backstroke Female||Davies, Georgia||01:00.76||01:00.98|
|100 Backstroke Female||Fullalove, Jessica||01:01.42||01:01.62|
|100 Backstroke Male||Walker-Hebborn, Christopher||54.33||54.96|
|200 Backstroke Female||Quigley, Lauren||02:11.20||02:12.43|
|200 Backstroke Female||Fullalove, Jessica||02:15.56||02:13.88|
|200 Backstroke Female||McKenzie, Lucy||02:19.43||02:18.97|
|50 Breaststroke Female||Renshaw, Molly||32.54||32.80|
|50 Breaststroke Male||Peaty, Adam||27.80||26.95|
|50 Breaststroke Male||Willis, Andrew||28.94||28.36|
|100 Breaststroke Female||Renshaw, Molly||01:09.44||01:09.33|
|100 Breaststroke Female||Miley, Hannah||01:10.26||01:09.55|
|100 Breaststroke Male||Peaty, Adam||01:00.73||59.48|
|100 Breaststroke Male||Willis, Andrew||01:03.10||01:02.07|
|100 Breaststroke Male||Jamieson, Michael||01:01.53||01:02.15|
|200 Breaststroke Female||Renshaw, Molly||02:26.38||02:26.12|
|200 Breaststroke Female||Miley, Hannah||02:29.81||02:28.00|
|200 Breaststroke Male||Peaty, Adam||02:15.49||02:12.22|
|200 Breaststroke Male||Jamieson, Michael||02:12.59||02:12.37|
|200 Breaststroke Male||Willis, Andrew||02:20.40||02:14.54|
|50 Butterfly Female||Lowe, Danielle||28.39||27.54|
|50 Butterfly Male||Proud, Benjamin||23.69||23.66|
|50 Butterfly Male||Barrett, Adam||24.23||24.35|
|100 Butterfly Female||Kelly, Rachael||58.78||58.99|
|100 Butterfly Female||Newlands, Anna||01:03.05||01:02.91|
|100 Butterfly Female||Willmott, Aimee||01:02.04||01:04.50|
|100 Butterfly Male||Barrett, Adam||53.66||53.23|
|200 Butterfly Female||Miley, Hannah||02:14.23||02:13.44|
|200 Butterfly Female||Newlands, Anna||02:18.79||02:18.71|
|200 Butterfly Male||Pavoni, Roberto||01:58.92||02:03.36|
|200 Butterfly Male||Smith, Lewis||02:03.52||02:04.11|
|200 Individual Medley Female||O’Connor, Siobhan-Marie||02:12.50||02:10.84|
|200 Individual Medley Female||Willmott, Aimee||02:10.87||02:13.28|
|200 Individual Medley Male||Pavoni, Roberto||02:02.54||02:02.48|
|400 Individual Medley Female||Willmott, Aimee||04:33.64||04:35.74|
|400 Individual Medley Female||Miley, Hannah||04:37.97||04:38.39|
|400 Individual Medley Female||McKenzie, Lucy||04:54.60||04:50.62|
|400 Individual Medley Female||Lowe, Danielle||04:43.90||04:51.88|
|400 Individual Medley Male||Pavoni, Roberto||04:20.03||04:19.56|
|400 Individual Medley Male||Litchfield, Max||04:21.70||04:22.08|