2016 GBR Olympic Trials: Day 2 Finals Real-Time Recaps


The second finals session of the 2016 British Olympic Trials could be a sullen one. After three swimmers automatically qualified for the British Olympic Team on day 1, there’s a strong possibility that all event winners on Wednesday will be awaiting a ‘save’ from Britain’s National Team coaching staff to earn a spot at the Olympics. In two of the four instances on Saturday, the selection standard is faster than the National Record (in the women’s 200 breast, by almost two seconds).

A programming not since this morning’s session: the 2nd-seeded 100 backstroke Fran Halsall has scratched the final.

Remember that British coaches have the right to save up to 6 athletes, regardless of their performance, with rankings compared to a set of standards as a “guide” but not a final determinant.

Women’s 100 Back – FINAL

  • British Record: Gemma Spofforth, 58.12, 2009
  • 1st Place Standard: 59.05
  • 2% Consideration Standard: 59.69

While nobody was able to earn the automatic qualifying time for Rio, Georgia Davies did manage to scrape under the consideration standard with a 59.64 for the victory to open Wednesday’s finals session. That swim is the third-fastest of her career and her best time outside of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Davies, in fact, had only been under one minute once since those 2014 Commonwealth Games – at last year’s U.S. National Championships.

The top qualifier coming into the final, Lizzie Simmonds, finished 2nd in 1:00.20, which won’t warrant consideration for a spot at the Olympics outside of the extreme-cases clause in the selection criteria. Simmonds may, however, get a chance if she qualifies in the 200 back later in the meet, to swim this race as an alternate event.

Britain’s two young women’s backstrokers, who after London 2012 looked like they’d be taking the torch right now, placed just 3rd and 4th. Jessica Fullalove swam 1:00.65, and Lauren Quigley was 1:01.00. Neither swimmer was particularly close to a personal best.

Men’s 200 Fly – FINAL

  • British Record: Michael Rock, 1:54.58, 2009
  • 1st Place Standard: 1:54.46
  • 2% Consideration Standard: 1:56.74

The men’s 200 fly will likely be vacant of Brits in Rio. The event wasn’t one that expected to make much of a splash, and with nobody coming within a second of even the consideration time, the expectations held true.

The winner Adam Mallett, however, will be happy with a new personal best time of 1:58.02 – a half-second improvement on the time he swam at the 2012 Olympic Trials that was his previous best. Mallett had a very light competition schedule in 2014 and 2015, racing in just 4 long course meets in the two years combined.

American-based swimmer Mark Szaranek, who trains with British IM Champion Dan Wallace at the University of Florida, placed 2nd in 1:58.20, and Jay Lelliott was 3rd in 1:58.32.

Women’s 200 Breast – FINAL

  • British Record: 2:23.82, Molly Renshaw, 2014
  • 1st Place Standard: 2:22.08
  • 2% Consideration Standard: 2:24.75

In a mild upset, City of Cardiff’s Chloe Tutton upset the British Record holder Molly Renshaw and took away her National Standard in the process in the women’s 200 breaststroke final.

Both swimmers, in fact, went lifetime bests and therefore under Renshaw’s old record. Tutton won in 2:22.34, crushing Renshaw’s mark by a second-and-a-half, and Renshaw was 2nd in 2:23.56.

Read more about the record here.

Tutton, who like Renshaw turns just 20 this year, had a previous lifetime best of 2:25.67 – representing a monster three-second drop in this lone swim. Her best coming into 2016 was a second slower than even that at 2:26.76.

Neither swimmer hit the automatic qualifying time, but both were within the 2% for consideration. Tutton’s time should be enough for a qualification, with Renshaw’s time worthy of strong consideration. Renshaw’s swim will be marked as the new English Record.

Georgia Coates took 3rd in 2>27.10, and Hannah Miley, already qualified for the team by way of her 400 IM, was just 2:28.38 for 5th-place.

Men’s 100 Back – FINAL

  • British Record: Liam Tancock, 52.73, 2009
  • 1st Place Standard: 52.99
  • 2% Consideration Standard: 53.46

Chris Walker-Hebborn swam 53.73 to miss both the Automatic qualifying standard and the 2% consideration standard.

Walker-Hebborn’s personal best time, a 52.88 from last year’s British Championships, would have been enough to earn him Automatic Qualification to Rio. He was well-short of that mark, however; and while he still has several avenues to qualify for Rio, this was his best event last year.

Other ways Walker-Hebborn might qualify, in order of likelihood:

  1. Walker-Hebborn is the country’s best backstroker in 2016, with the 30-year old  Liam Tancock finishing 2nd in 54.20. Great Britain’s 400 medley relay was 4th at last year’s World Championships, and the British National Team coaching staff will find a way to get the country’s best backstroker on the roster for a run at Rio.
  2. He’s one of the 6 magical saves (which would be ‘a way’ accounted for in point 1 if the relay as a whole isn’t selected on its total merit).

Walker-Hebborn doesn’t have any other entries at the meet that might earn him an invite and a ‘save’ in this 100 backstroke, but the relay implications should be enough to get him there even without hitting the consideration time.

Liam Tancock was 2nd in 54.20, followed by Xavier Mohammed in 54.47 for 3rd. American-trained Joe Patching, on a quick turnaround from the American collegiate (NCAA) Championships, was 4th in 54.98.

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5 years ago

Excellent 59.64 from Georgia Davies. Within 2% of the consideration time, so excellent chance to go, and would qualify for medley relay (and so would get an individual swim anyway).

Simmonds will probably qualify thought the 200m back, so also will swim this event.

Reply to  Iain
5 years ago

Yeah 100m isn’t Simmonds’ strongest event. Hopefully the 200m will be better.

5 years ago

Chloe Tutton… almost 4s PB to JUST miss 200 breast QT… 2.22.3 from 2.25.8 in one race. Still a teenager too. Renshaw 2.23.5, also under old NR.

5 years ago

Posted this earlier but I’m still baffled-

Another country with insane cuts. Why??? The Brits are swimming so well as a nation- why take spots in Rio from them?!?! At some point you’d have to think this will help push some athletes out of the sport earlier than they would otherwise leave. 1:54.4 men’s 200 fly??? Ludicrous. In this quad, only Phelps has swum that time for the US. Conger, Shields, Clary, Seliskar, even Schooling have not made that cut!!! Tyler Clary was our 2nd 200m flyer in London and wasn’t under that stupid time!

Reply to  HulkSwim
5 years ago

Please read the selection document. 1:56.02 is essentially the qualifying time for the 200m fly.

5 years ago

Fab new NR for Chloe Tutton in the 200m breast – 2:22.34
Bodes very well for the 100m (and medley relay)

2:23.56 a new PB for former NR holder Renshaw, will likely also be Rio bound.

Reply to  Iain
5 years ago

Devastating if renshaw isn’t picked for the second Olympics in a row

5 years ago

I understand a lot of these swims will end up getting in after secondary events and all that… but man, what pressure for these athletes! Instead of just focusing on racing, it’s make the cut or go home!

Captain Awesome
5 years ago

I think Tutton should be a fairly safe qualifier when taking the consideration times into account. Renshaw has a chance as well.

5 years ago

Disappointing 53.73 for CWH.

Reply to  Iain
5 years ago

But he will nontheless be selected for the medley relay. Tancock got a wild card pick for the worlds, and could do again.

5 years ago

Womens 100 back: Very good time for Davies, the rest a bit disappointing in my opinion.
Mens 200 fly: Nothing new, no progression, probably the weakest event for british swimming.
Womens 200 breast: Amazing breakthrough for Tutton and also very good time for Renshaw, both have a chance to make the final in Rio. Everyone else was pretty disappointing, especially Black.
Mens 100 back: CWH and Tancock with very disappointing times, not good news for british medley relay.
Overall i am a bit disappointed so far, i expected more spectacular times.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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