16-Year-Old Jacob Whittle Cranks Out 48.76 100 Meter Free in Long Course

2021 BRITISH SWIMMING SELECTION TRIALS

Swimming in the A final at the 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials, 16-year-old Jacob Whittle swam to a new British age group record in the 100 freestyle with a 48.76.

Heading into the meet Whittle had a PB of 49.97 from back in 2019 and lowered it to a 49.31 in the prelims. By getting down to a 48.76 he becomes the fastest 16-year-old in British history, beating out Matthew Richards‘ former age group record of 48.88 which he swam at the 2019 European Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia.

For reference to just how fast a 48.76 is from a 16-year-old, we can take a look at how fast 2016 Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers was at that age. In April 2015, Chalmers posted a 48.89 at the 2015 Australian Swimming Championships & World Championship Trials to take out Cam McEvoy‘s previous mark of 49.70. Just one year after that age group record by Chalmers, he went on to become Olympic champion in the event with a 47.58 World Junior Record which stood until October 2020 when Andrei Minakov lowered it to a 47.57.

Chalmers is the gold standard, globally, for 16-year old sprinters.

Whittle is also faster than the reigning world champion in the event Caeleb Dressel was at age 16. In 2013, Dressel posted a new US 15-16 age group record of 49.28; a mark that still stands today. Dressel has gone on to dominate the international scene in the long course 100 freestyle, winning gold at 2017 Worlds with a 47.17 and again in 2019 with a 46.96. Dressel is also one of three men to ever crack 47 seconds in the event and is the closest swimmer to Cesar Cielo’s 46.91 world record from 2009.

Duncan Scott pulled off the win in the event at 2021 British Trials with a 47.87 while Matthew Richards followed with a 48.23. Tom Dean reached the podium with his 48.51 and Whittle’s record-breaking 48.76 was good enough for fourth. While Whittle was just over the Olympic selection standard of 48.35 and this is not the sole qualification opportunity for the British Olympic squad, it could end up being fast enough for a spot on the 4×100 freestyle relay.

By hitting a 48.76, Whittle ties David Cumberlidge as the 6th fastest man in British history. Scott matched his own British record in the event while Matt Richards and Tom Dean became the 3rd and 5th fastest British men in the event’s history.

All-Time 100 Freestyle Ranking – Great Britain

  1. Duncan Scott – 47.87
  2. Simon Burnett – 48.20
  3. Matt Richards – 48.23
  4. Adam Brown – 48.48
  5. Tom Dean – 48.51
  6. Ben Proud – 48.52
  7. Lewis Edward Burras – 48.58
  8. Jacob Whittle / David Cumberlidge – 48.76
  9. Calum Jarvis – 48.79

Whittle’s swim also undercuts Duncan Scott‘s 17-year-old age group record of 49.09 from 2015 and gets him just 0.10 seconds away from Scott’s 48.66 18-year-old record.

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Rafael
5 months ago

wasn´t Popovici faster than Chalmers at 16?

Dee
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

Popovici was 49.2 I think

Dee
5 months ago

This one’s going to the very top – Well done young man!

Swammer
5 months ago

How do they select relays?

U.K. Coach
Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

They add Cam Kurle and Dan Wallace and then also take everyone else who beat them.

ArmchairExpert
Reply to  U.K. Coach
5 months ago

🤣🤣🤣

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  U.K. Coach
5 months ago

Thank goodness they did. Without Dan Wallace the 4×200 team doesn’t win a medal!!

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Success Leaves Clues
5 months ago

Yeah in fairness the Dan Wallace pick paid off in Rio: good relay splits and made the 200 IM final, so can’t argue too much with that one. The Cam Kurle pick in Gwangju also worked out OK: did his job in qualifying the relay for the final. The Nick Pyle pick on the other hand…

Anyway, here’s the relevant part of the GB selection process on freestyle relays:
“The top four finishers in each of the Open Final of the 100m and 200m Freestyle events will be ranked as a relay team on the basis of their combined Open Finals time against the time in Table 1. This may qualify the relay for consideration but it does not… Read more »

Troll in the Dungeon
5 months ago

Very happy to see strong 100 freestyle showing from across GB. England, Scotland and Wales all represented. Pretty sure NI swim for Ireland at Olympics don’t they? So it’s kind of as well spread as you could hope for as a truly representative team.

Togger
Reply to  Troll in the Dungeon
5 months ago

NI can choose, the Catholics usually represent RoI and Protestants GB.

NornIron Swim
Reply to  Togger
5 months ago

Not true.
NI swimmers almost always compete for Ireland. It’s very uncommon for the best NI swimmers to be the better than the rest from GB.
Less a religious issue and more what is the best way to get to the Games.

ADS
5 months ago

Isn’t Matt Richards only 18 now? So is his 48.23 not the 18 yo mark? Or is he 19 this year?

Dee
Reply to  ADS
5 months ago

19 in December, and UK age records are done by your age on December 31st of that year.

Jeff
5 months ago

It’s great to see him and Matt Richards continuing to improve despite interruptions due to COVID which seem to have taken a lot of juniors off the tracks they were on. I wonder how much of a role being in the New York Breakers was for their improvement as it certainly seems like the other Brits on NYB (Wood, Renshaw, J Litchfield) have come out of the other side of the ISL as new improved athletes.

U.K. Coach
Reply to  Jeff
5 months ago

They were training, most of the “elites” were only out of the water for 6-8 weeks. British swimming swung open their doors for the chosen few while anyone not in the circle of trust was up a creek.

Togger
Reply to  U.K. Coach
5 months ago

Richards was in the water at Bath, doubt Whittle will have been at Derventio. Clubs like Sheffield were out of the water and there’s only really Whittle and Slevin at Derventio.

Dee
Reply to  Togger
5 months ago

As far as I know Derventio were out of the pool until August, then I think they were disrupted again during lockdown 2.

Dan
Reply to  Dee
5 months ago

Whittle has been training at Loughborough

Dee
Reply to  Dan
5 months ago

Started training at Lboro after christmas, didn’t they (Jacob & Mia)?

Last edited 5 months ago by Dee
Swimmer24
Reply to  U.K. Coach
5 months ago

Someone’s a bit bitter evidently

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  U.K. Coach
5 months ago

Wrong again UK Coach…. All swimmers in the UK were out of the water for 10 weeks. British Swimming had to define an elite group as per government guidance. They had to only let a small number train and had to set strict protocols for the pools that could open for according to the guidance. Both of which had to be approved by Government Covid officers. They did a brilliant job getting this up and running for an elite group that ended up number just over 80 swimmers. If they hadn’t worked around the clock for weeks on end to make this happen you wouldn’t be seeing these fantastic swims we are seeing now. You really need to get that… Read more »

MarkB
Reply to  Success Leaves Clues
5 months ago

As an American coach in London, I was at first upset that the elites were able to swim when no one else was (we were actually lucky since we have 2 outdoor pools which we could continually use even in the winter) since I’m used to seeing swimmers come out of nowhere and make the Final at the OT’s or even the team. But the UK doesn’t have the depth of the US so it actually makes sense to do it this way to ensure a competitive Olympic Team. This would not go over well in the US but worked here.

Togger
5 months ago

He’s definitely more like Dressel age 16 than Chalmers build wise, pretty skinny still.

Going to be ludicrously fast when he fills out, if he wants to keep swimming of course.

Curious swimmer
5 months ago

Splits for anyone interested.

23.98/24.78 – 48.76

Honestly I’m beyond impressed with the close to even splitting this kid does for a 100m, especially at this high level.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Curious swimmer
5 months ago

Also, Richards split 23.62-24.61, actually faster than Scott on the back half, which is quite something. Quite incredible that GB has gone from having one elite sprinter and barely anyone else sub-50 to having 5 people under 49 (plus Guy who would probably be there if he swam it). Great to see.