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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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TOKYO GOLD MEDALIST ADAM PEATY AND TOM DEAN HEADLINE PERFORMANCES AT THE BRITISH SWIMMING TRIALS

Anticipation rises for #FINABudapest2022 | British Swimming Trials

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Less than a year removed from its best Olympic appearance in the sport of swimming, the British Swimming national team put up an encore performance for its fans in Ponds Forge at last week’s trials for the FINA World Championships. For Tokyo gold medalists Adam Peaty and Tom Dean, it was the first time they had swum in front of British fans in nearly three years, and they did not disappoint, putting up times for the rest of the world to take notice of in the countdown to this summer’s world championships in Budapest.

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Less than a year removed from its best Olympic appearance in the sport of swimming, the British Swimming national team put up an encore performance for its fans in Ponds Forge at last week’s trials for the FINA World Championships. For Tokyo gold medalists Adam Peaty and Tom Dean, it was the first time they had swum in front of British fans in nearly three years, and they did not disappoint, putting up times for the rest of the world to take notice of in the countdown to this summer’s world championships in Budapest.

With all of the finalists from Tokyo last summer already securing auto bids to Budapest, the
pressure was off for most of the stars, but they didn’t want to give the fans in Sheffield anything less than a show. And the meet was book-ended with the three biggest stars in British Swimming – Adam Peaty won his trademark 100 breaststroke with a world-leading 58.58 on night one, while Duncan Scott and Tom Dean both scored 1:45s in the 200 freestyle on the last night.

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Peaty is in line to win a fourth straight World title in the 100 breaststroke in Budapest, which would make him the sixth man to win the same event at the World Championships four times, and also the first to do so in the 100 breaststroke.

Joining him in that event is James Wilby, who will also be in line for a medal after he won silver in Gwangju just under three years ago. Wilby also won the 200 breaststroke (2:09.48) in Sheffield as he will again race both those distances in Hungary this summer.

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Dean was able to follow up his Tokyo campaign with Worlds qualifying times in the 100 free
(48.06), 200 free (1:45.73) and 200 IM (1:57.18), showing off his versatility as one of the faces in perhaps the greatest British swim team of all time. This will be Dean’s second trip to the FINA World Championships after he was on relay-only duty in Gwangju in 2019.

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Duncan Scott is another reason why this British team won a record eight medals last summer in Tokyo, and he showed no signs of slowing down in Sheffield. He put up the number one time in the world in the 400 IM (4:09.18), which was faster than the winning time at the Olympics last summer.

No British man has ever reached a Worlds podium in the 400 IM, and Scott has turned into a formidable challenge for anyone in the world, in any event, he decides to swim. He leads the world rankings in the 200 IM (1:56.08) and is second globally in the 200 free (1:45.54). Add in his prowess in the 100 free (a race he did not swim last week) for relays, and he could be in for a huge medal haul in Budapest.

The British Trials also saw the emergence of sprinter Lewis Burras, who currently leads the world rankings in the 100 free (47.88) and also qualified to swim the 50 free (21.77) for
Budapest. Burras, born in 2000, is now leading a strong 4×100 free relay team for the Brits, who now have a legitimate chance to win a medal in all three men’s relays.

With the team of Dean, 18-year-old Jacob Whittle, and Matthew Richards, Great Britain has a formidable chance to reach the podium in the 4×100 free on night one, whether the team decides to give Scott an additional race.

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In the 50 free final, Burras was able to beat Ben Proud to the wall, as the latter qualified for the fifth Worlds team of his career. Proud will be joined in Budapest by another member of the five-timers club in James Guy, who was already pre-selected based on his efforts on the two gold medal-winning relay teams in Tokyo. Guy raced to wins in the 100 (51.69) and 200 butterfly (1:56.31), reaching the FINA A standard in both events as the now 26-year-old continues to be one of the faces of British Swimming.

Guy also finished third in the 200 freestyle behind the gold and silver medalist from Tokyo, while fourth-place finisher Joe Litchfield makes this British 4×200 free relay is extremely tough to beat as they take another stab at the 2009 world record by the United States. Jacob Peters was also able to get under the FINA A standard in the 100 butterfly by virtue of his 51.93 in the final.

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Fellow Tokyo medalist Luke Greenbank also secured qualification in the 200 backstroke
(1:57.57) as the bronze medalist from last summer made his third Worlds team for Budapest, while also pulling Brodie Williams (1:57.90) along for the qualifying standard. Greenbank had already been pre-selected, as was Max Litchfield, who was competing south of the equator at the South African Nationals, swimming under the A standard in the 400 IM with a 4:15.39.

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On the women’s side, relay gold medalist Anna Hopkin put up solid times in the 50 (24.84) and 100 freestyle (53.45). Hopkin was another one of the auto qualifiers based on her performances on relays last summer and she will be racing in two individual events for Budapest where she continues her rise as one of the best sprint freestylers in the world.

Fellow freestyler and relay ace Freya Anderson swam qualification times in the 100 (53.92), 200 (1:57.73), and 400 freestyles (4:08.46) as the former World junior champion will be racing in her third Worlds.

One of the up-and-comers to emerge from Sheffield was Medi Harris, who raced to a 59.95 in the 100 backstroke after already swimming a 59.2 earlier in February. The 2002-born Harris will be making her Worlds debut this summer, along with Kathleen Dawson, who finished third at Trials but had already secured qualification in the 100 back based on her appearance in the Tokyo final.

Another rising star from this past week was Freya Colbert, who picked up qualification times in the 400 free (4:09.04) and 400 IM (4:41.27). Born in 2004, this will be her first trip to the FINA World Championships as the future is looking bright for British Swimming.

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Abbie Wood, one of Britain’s breakout stars from last year, was able to pick up wins in the 200 IM (2:10.64), 200 freestyle (1:57.61), and 200 breaststroke (2:24.28). Now 23, Wood is one of the most versatile swimmers in the world and is searching for a podium finish in Budapest after missing the 200 IM podium in Tokyo by 0.11 seconds.

Laura Stephens (200 butterfly) and Daniel Jervis (400, 800, 1500 freestyle), who both swam at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also won their respective events, with Jervis picking up three A-cut qualifications to rank as high as fourth in the world in the 1500 freestyle. It’s not a given they will be selected for Budapest, as the Worlds team has not been finalised, but they were among the standout performers in Sheffield.

 

Source: FINA

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