The British Swimming Championships are underway in Sheffield, a meet that will determine who makes the cut for the World Championships in Budapest later this year (along with a host of other competitions of course). As in previous years we’ll be keeping tabs of how the team is shaping up based on the results and the GB selection policy
Note this is only our interpretation of how the policy will be applied. Beyond those who make the automatic qualifying times, selection is not an exact
science and subject to selector discretion, particularly given the inclusion of wildcards. The final team selected may hence differ for a variety of reasons.
James Guy and Duncan Scott fought a fierce battle in the 200m freestyle as both men posted consideration times at the head o the field. Guy got the touch in 1:45.55, while Scott posted a Scottish record of 1:45.80. They were joined din the top four by Calum Jarvis and Nicholas Grainger, whose times of 1:47.02 and 1:47.25 were well enough to get the 4 x 2 quad under the consideration standard.
Sarah Vasey won the women’s breaststroke battle, pipping Siobhan-Marie O’Connor by 0.02s to take the win in 1:06.78. Both ladies were under the consideration standard for Budapest, with O’Connor particularly relieved after her mishap in the 200IM last night. Alys Thomas and Charlotte Atkinson traded places on the podium from the 200m butterfly in the 100m event, as Thomas took the win in a lifetime best of 57.85. Combined with other results that left the women’s medley quartet of Georgia Davies, Vasey, Thomas and Freya Anderson under the consideration time.
In non-selection events, Ben Proud followed up his British Record over 50m freestyle with another one in the 50m fly. His winning time of 22.80 sliced 0.13s from his own mark.
Ben Proud showed that training in Turkey was working as well for him as his new Energy Standard teammate Georgia Davies as he smashed the British record on the 50m freestyle, posting a very fast 21.32 to slice 0.22 off his own mark. That was well inside the automatic selection time and faster than the time that won Olympic gold last year. A big lifetime best in the 400m free saw Holly Hibbott earn both gold and a shot at world championship selection with a time of 4:06.37. That left an out of sorts Jazz Carlin in second and outside the consideration standard. She will now be relying on a wildcard if she wants to go to Budapest.
Despite Carlin’s travails though, the big story was the disqualification of Siobhan Marie O’Connor in the 200IM for a false start. That left Hannah Miley with the title but nobody with a time fast enough for selection. O’Connor still has the 100m fly and breaststroke on the final day to earn her spot, but is highly likely to get a wildcard pick if not. Max Litchfield just got past NCAA champion Mark Szaranek in the equivalent men’s event and posted a consideration time, although he’s already certain of his space regardless. Despite a big PB Szaranek just missed out. In non selection events Davies won the 50m backstroke in 27.69, just 0.13s away from her own British Record.
There were only four selection races on the fourth night of trials and they produced only three possible additions to the GB team for the world championships. A lifetime best for James Guy in the 100m butterfly secured him victory and with it a consideration time in that event; Adam Barrett was outside the required mark in second with 52.13. Guy’s swim also secured the required consideration standard for the men’s medley relay team. Ross Murdoch won the 200m breaststroke in 2:09.15 and dragged James Wilby to a PB of 2:10.01 in second – both men inside the consideration time for Budapest. In the women’s events it was a case of so near and yet so far. Two PBs in one day for Freya Anderson left her just 0.1s shy of the consideration time over 100m freestyle with 59.35 in the final, while Rosie Rudin missed out by even less over 200m backstroke, posting 2:09.55 to fall just 0.08s short. The combined time of Anderson, Siobhan Marie O’Connor, Ellie Faulkner and Anna Hopkin left the women’s’ 4 x 1 free team just under second shy of the time they needed, but Anderson can now keep an eye on the fate of the medley team as results are confirmed on the last two nights.
On the best day of trials or selection so far, both Max Litchfield and Duncan Scott set British Records a they secured their paces at the world championships in Budapest. Litchfield took the 400 IM in 4:10.63, while Scott broke through the 48s barrier to post 47.90 in the 100m freestyle. In a possible surprise, both Charlotte Atkinson and Alys Thomas posted consideration times in the 200m butterfly, with personal bests of nearly three and one seconds respectively. There was a welcome return to form for Daniel Jervis who comfortably took a win in the 1500m freestyle, with a lifetime best of 14:51.48, well inside the consideration standard. In the night’s other final, Anna Hopkin won the 50m freestyle in a personal best of 25.07, but needed another half a second to put herself in the selection discussion. In relay terms, despite Scott’s efforts at the head of the 100m freestyle field, the next three home of Jack Thorpe, Kieran McGuckin and Calum Jarvis couldn’t quite see the men’s 4×1 team over the line, although the selectors could consider adding in a 48.94 heat swim from Adam Barrett if they decide to take that squad. Barrett opted out of the final, presumably to save himself for the 100m fly.
Loughborough’s Jocelyn Ulyett confirmed her place on the GB team for Budapest with a sensational British Record of 2:22.08 in the 200m breaststroke. Runner up Molly Renshaw was well inside the consideration time, so should make the trip to Hungary as well, but Chloe Tutton was locked out in 3rd despite also making that standard. Nobody else was able to confirm selection for sure, but Georgia Davies did her chances no harm whatsoever with a Welsh Record of 59.34 in the 100m backstroke, inside the consideration time. James Guy’s big PB over 200m fly of 1:55.91 left him just short of that pace, but he will surely get the option to swim it in Budapest if selected for other events. The main surprise was that Jazz Carlin missed out in the 800m freestyle – she fell four seconds shy of the time she needed for consideration in 8:30.57, while Chris Walker-Hebborn will probably now wait on the medley relay for his place having won the 100m backstroke in 54.24, 0.64 slower than the time he needed for individual consideration.
The first 4 finals only provided one guaranteed swimmer on the plane to Rio and it was no surprise that it was Adam Peaty. There were plenty of consideration times posted though, and Hannah Miley in particular can feel confident of getting her place. There will be no women’s’ 4 x 200m free relay at worlds though – the quartet were outside the consideration cut off. Meanwhile in non selection events Imogen Clark broke the British Record in the 50m breaststroke with Sarah Vasey also under the old mark, adding further spice to the 100m event coming up on the last day of competition.
Banner image: Simone Castrovillari