Halsall and Guy Sizzle in Marseille

As part of a contingent of British swimmers competing in the south of France, Francesca Halsall posted her fastest time over 50m free since her all conquering 2014 season as she comfortably won at the Golden Tour meet in Marseille, besting Sarah Sjostrom by 0.3s in the process. Halsall’s time of 24.23 represents her 5th fastest ever in the event, the quickest ever outside trials or a major meet, and seemingly marks the end of her injury woes from 2015.

Halsall also showed she was not yet done with the 100m, despite her professed focus on the on length dash coming home in 54.40 behind only Sjostrom, a situation repeated in the 50 fly, where her 25.60 was her fourth fastest performance all time. Plenty of fast twitch fibres on show then for Halsall, while her teammate Rachael Kelly was 5th in the same final in 26.69. Kelly also posted a solid 58.11 for runner up spot in the 100m fly.

Elsewhere Chloe Tutton was third in the 200m breaststroke in 2:25.67, breaking her own Welsh record from earlier this year as she builds to trials, and also recorded a sold 1:08.31 for 3rd in the 100m. Lizzie Simonds showed some good in-season form over 100m backstroke with 1:00.23 for second, while her 2:10.08 in the 200m secured another podium spot in third. Fellow Brit Georgia Davies was 6th in the 100m in 1:018, to add to a runners up spot over 50m in 28.28.

James Guy. Pic: Simone Castrovillari
James Guy was on good form in Marseille. Pic: Simone Castrovillari

Amongst the men, James Guy was also in fine fettle as he took to spot in the 400 free in 3:47.96, while he posted a solid 200 free to finish just 0.02 behind Jeremy Stravius in 1:47.67. That’s a little off his fastest of the year, but in the midst of what must be a heavy block of training, is encouraging for the trials that come ahead.

Guy also posted a 53.03 100 fly in the heats of that event before opting out of the final. That put him well ahead of Tom Laxton in 53.61 and Adam Barrett in 54.66; Barrett went on to win the B final in 54.28, while Laxton faded a little for 5th in the A final in 54.13. That swim from Guy suggests he might yet feature in the selection picture for the medley relay, although Barett, Laxton, Antony James and others may yet have something to say about that. One thing is for sure, after his 400IM outing in the south of France, Guy won’t be adding that to his programme any time soon.

Full results can be found here

Banner image courtesy of Arena