2019 British Swimming Championships Day 1 Finals Recap

Lilly King By Jack SpitserFoto Gian Mattia D'Alberto - LaPresse 22-07-2019 Gwangju - Korea sport nuoto 18mi Campionati del mondo FINA Gwangju 2019 nella foto: Katinka Hosszu Ph Gian Mattia D'Alberto - LaPresse 2019-07-22 Gwangju - Korea Sport swimming 18th FINA World Championships Gwangju in the photo: Katinka Hosszu



In a raw sprint from start to finish, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sarah Vasey took 50m breaststroke gold here in Glasgow. Clocking a time of 30.72, Vasey crushed her morning effort of 31.32 to check-in with a performance among her 10 best. She won Commonwealth gold in a time of 30.60, so she was just over a tenth off that mark tonight and the only swimmer to dip under the 31-second threshold.

Vasey was last year’s bronze medalist in 30.93. Her time now checks the Loughborough swimmer in as the 8th fastest performer in the world this year, sitting behind fellow Brit Imogen Clark, who had to drop this event due to injury.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 50 BREAST

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Runner-up status went to Stockport Metro’s Katie Matts, who followed up her 32.03 from this morning with a near-personal best of 31.44. Her lifetime fastest remains at the 31.20 she logged at last year’s British Championships that ranks her the 12th fastest British performer of all-time.

As for 18-year-old Tatiana Belonogoff, the Guildford City swimmer rocked a bronze medal tonight, stopping the clock in 31.46. She was 31.29 en route to gold at last year’s European Junior Championships.


  • British National Record – 24.04, Liam Tancock, 2009
  • GOLD – Thomas Howdle, 25.23
  • SILVER – Nicholas Pyle, 25.48
  • BRONZE – Liam White, 25.60

In a mild upset, Thomas Howdle of Stockport Metro beat out Newcastle’s Nicholas Pyle to take the men’s 50m backstroke British national title tonight. Leading the field with a morning mark of 25.62, 22-year-old Howdle unleashed a 25.23 for gold, his personal best and a time that makes him the 6th fastest performer in British history.

Pyle won this 50m event at last year’s British Championships and followed that up with European Junior Championships bronze in the 100m back last year. Pyle’s time at the 2018 version of this meet was 25.45, so he was just off that tonight in 25.48.

Here are the only performers faster than Howdle’s gold medal-winning 25.23 tonight:

1 Liam Tancock Exeter City 85 13th Fina World Champs2009 Rome 1 02/08/09 24.04
2 Christopher Walker-Hebborn Team Bath AS 90 Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow 1 26/07/14 24.92
3 Marco Loughran Guildford Ct 89 British Gas Swimming Championships Sheffield 1 28/06/13 25.03
4 Matthew Clay Chard 82 Commonwealth Games 2006 Melbourne Australia 1 15/03/06 25.04
5 Nicholas Pyle Newcastle 00 European Championships 2018 Glasgow 1 03/08/18 25.10

Post-race, Howdle said, “I only picked up this event this season, so I’m buzzing.”

Swansea’s Liam White punched the wall in 25.60 for the bronze, his fastest time by .18. Of note, Xavier Castelli of Cardiff squeaked into this final by way of a scratch and made up some ground, finishing 5th in 25.80 tonight.


  • Selection Time #1 – 1:55.82, Selection Time #2 – 1:56.66
  • British National Record – 1:55.54, Joanne Jackson, 2009
  • GOLD – Freya Anderson, 1:58.22
  • SILVER – Holly Hibbott, 1:58.23
  • BRONZE – Georgia Coates, 1:59.40

In a race that literally went down to the touch, 18-year-old Freya Anderson of Ellesmere collected her first British national title of 2019 with a 200m freestyle stunner down the stretch to top the podium in 1:58.22.

Starting out in front with a lead-off 100m of 57.77, Anderson held a lead of over a tenth ahead of last year’s winner Kathryn Greenslade (57.89) and Holly Hibbott (58.15) and she managed to hold on, despite a big move from Hibbott at the end.

Hibbott, the 400m freestyle silver medalist from the Commonwealth Games, waited just a moment too late to try to overtake Anderson, instead settling for silver tonight .01 back in 1:58.23.

Anderson’s time tonight is her 2nd fastest ever, as she was 1:58.19 just this year at the Edinburgh International Meet. Of her race, the Ellesmere Titan stated, “I’m happy with gold, but would have preferred to go quicker.” She’ll be focusing on her 100m free specialty here.

Georgia Coates clocked 1:59.40 for bronze, although none of the top 3 finishers came close to the 1:56.66 minimum time qualification #2. It also appears that the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay will most likely not qualify for the World Championships with the performances tonight.


  • Selection Time #1 – 3:45.32, Selection Time #2 – 3:46.87
  • British National Record – 3:43.75, James Guy, 2015
  • GOLD – Daniel Jervis, 3:47.57
  • SILVER – Kieran Bird, 3:52.21
  • BRONZE – Sam Budd, 3:52.26

In one of his best moments ever in the pool, 23-year-old Daniel Jervis took the men’s 400m freestyle and ran away with it, clocking a mega personal best time of 3:47.57 to take the gold medal ahead of some very season competitors.

Taking it out in 1:52.73 at the 200m, Jervis stepped things up a notch to leave the  field that was flanking him up until that point in the dust, closing in a final 50 of 28.02. That held off Kieran Bird, who wound up with the silver in 3:52.21, as well as Sam Budd, who notched 3:52.26 for bronze.

Jervis’ time tonight wipes out his previous personal best of 3:48.08 from 2018 and moves him into the 10th slot, tying Elliot Clogg as the 10th fastest British performer ever in the men’s 400m free. In the season’s worldwide rankings, Jervis is now 13th.

Bird moved up from 5th plast last year, but Jay Lelliott, Stephen Milne and Cameron Kurle were all left off the podium tonight. Lelliott fell to 3:52.35 for 4th, while Milne touched in 3:52.66 for 5th. Kurle faded to 8th in 3:55.76.


  • Selection Time #1 – 4:35.09, Selection Time #2 – 4:37.01
  • British National Record – 4:31.33, Hannah Miley, 2009
  • GOLD – Aimee Willmott, 4:36.98
  • SILVER – Abbie Wood, 4:40.44
  • BRONZE – Hannah Miley, 4:42.68

Aimee Willmott nabbed the first official qualifying standard of the night, taking the women’s 400m IM in a mark of 4:36.98. That should be enough for consideration, as it falls under the 4:37.01 selection standard #2, but we’ll wait for British Swimming to make the call post-meet.

The University of Stirling swimmer fought for every inch of this race, holding off runner-up Abbie Wood and the versatile veteran Hannah Miley. Wood touched in 4:40.44 for silver, while Miley hit 4:42.68 for bronze. For Miley, the 3-time Olympian is just getting back in the groove of racing after undergoing ankle surgery last fall.

On the Gold Coast, the pair of Willmott and Miley finished 1-2 in the 400m IM; Willmott topped the podium in 4:34.90 to Aberdeen Miley’s 4:35.16. Wood is actually the 3rd fastest British performer ever in this event behind the aforementioned, holding a lifetime best of 4:37.25 from this same meet 2 years ago.

Willmott’s effort checks-in has her season-best, beating out the 4:40.93 she put up at the Edinburgh International Meet. It rockets her from 21st place to 5th in the world rankings.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 400 IM

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15-year-old Katie Shanahan of City of Glasgow turned heads once again by crushing a lifetime best swim en route to 5th place tonight. The teen threw down a best time this morning in 4:50.09, but blew that to bits with a night swim of 4:46.62. That is getting close to Rosie Rudin’s Age Record of 15-year-olds held at 4:43.56.


  • Selection Time #1 – 59.19, Selection Time #2 – 59.92
  • British National Record – 57.10, Adam Peaty (World Record), 2018
  • GOLD – Adam Peaty, 57.87
  • SILVER – James Wilby, 58.66
  • BRONZE – Ross Murdoch, 59.21

Adam Peaty is simply a menacing swimmer, beating the field to and from in this men’s 100m breaststroke sprint. He opened this 58.55 time this morning with a 26.90 stunner, but crushed that to a first 50 of 26.63 tonight to ultimately touch in 57.87.

Peaty’s time takes over the world rankings throne by a mile, displacing former season king Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus with his 58.29.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 BREAST

56.88 *WR
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For James Wilby, his time easily clears the World Championships selection as well, with the Loughborough teammate touching in 58.66 for the 2nd fastest time of his carer by just .02. 58.64 is what Wilby put up behind Peaty’s 57.10 World Record at the 2018 European Championships.

University of Stirling World Championships medalist Ross Murdoch got some steam in the water as well, finishing with eh bronze in 59.21, also a time under the selection time #2.

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5 years ago

James Wilby is a great breastroker, and I prefer hundredths of times his style to Peaty’s muscular one (obviously Peaty is a phenom, and in Swimming counts who’s the fastest).
In the last 20 metres Wilby closed pretty hard on Peaty: congrats Mr. Wilby!

5 years ago

If Peaty is in a similar cycle to last year there is a good chance he goes a WR/56 at World’s when he is fully tapered.

5 years ago

Small mercies eh

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

And Hungary will win the 4×200 fly..

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Italy 4×800 free?

Reply to  bear drinks beer
5 years ago

Usa 4 by 100 back

5 years ago

4X100 breaststroke between the US and GB will be fun to watch. GB would probably win.

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

That is one relay I would say GB would definitely win haha

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

That is how swimming has to be popularized. Add some fun to it. Unusual relays, or 4×200 relay of best sprinters against Ledecky or racing with handicap against world record holders when they don’t know beforehand how much advantage the opponent was given. Let competitors opportunity to buy extra time adding by that some risk of being punished for losing, etc. Make prizes substantial and give the opportunity to many to compete successfully. Make it fun and profitable.

5 years ago

Peaty/Wilby go to Worlds, both with medal expectations you’d have to say – A good end to a very poor night. Some good scheduling by BS, surely just a coincidence…

Overall: Womens 200fr/400im were won in disappointing times – No disrespect to the event winners; They said as much themselves. 50br/50bk/400fr/200br all about par to expectations.

Looking at the event scheduling, looks like tomorrow might be a bit painful too, a bunch of our weakest events in the pool.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

Willmott’s time is 5th in the World just behind Belmonte and Pickrem. No reason she can’t be in the bronze medal race at World’s.

Reply to  Tim
5 years ago

It’s April, and she hasnt been under 4.34 for about 5 years. I just don’t see a medal from her at the global level.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

On one hand I agree with you, on the other if she isn’t at World’s she definitely won’t win a medal. I think she showed enough for a place especially as she is unfunded so basically has to do this as amateur.

5 years ago

57.87 for peaty

5 years ago

Overall GB is much stronger on the mens side. 4 serious medal contenders in Peaty, Guy, Scott and Proud (+ the 800 free relay and the medley relay) + some outside medal chances with Murdoch and Litchfield.
On the womens side no real medal contenders. I think France used to be in a similar situation and Germany has a similar problem on a much lower level, quite interesting. In Canada its the other way round. The only countries with multiple serious medal contenders on both sides are USA, Japan, China, Australia, Russia and Italy, Hungary is on the verge (not sure you can consider Kesely a medal threat (yet)).

Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

At least? I’d say, unless SMOC is back to her very best, that’s every female ‘chance’ you’ve listed.

bear drinks beer
Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

I regard Davies as gold contender in 50 back.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

Wilby for the men!

5 years ago

Freya Anderson winner in the 200 free in 1.58.2.., the second place in the mens 400 free at 3.52..
Sorry Dee, but so far British Champs absolutely disappointing.

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

Just wait for Peaty

Reply to  Tim
5 years ago

Even Peaty swimming 56. wouldnt detract from the fact this has been a poor day – Times have been left in the pool. Most of the established team memvers arent even getting particularly close to their best times.

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

Not sure i would call the result in womens 200 free disappointing, pretty much the expected times.
In mens 400 free you are right, i think a couple of years ago GB had 3 or 4 guys capable of going 3:46/3:47 or faster.
In the end i dont see anyone beating Horton/Winnington/Yang in Tokyo, so not sure someone making the cut would have made a difference medal-wise.
Arent you italian as well? Apart from 30 yo Pellegrini the womens 200 free is a complete wasteland in italy as well.

bear drinks beer
Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

Well, but Italy does have a bunch of good swimmers in men’s 400 free.

Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

200fr behind the winner was about as expected – But the winning time, lets be honest, was not what was expected today. I pretty much expected the 400 to fall as it did – Grainger gone, Litchfield not interested in the event, Guy dropping it, Milne moving down – There are you four 3.43-3.46 men gone… The event is barren now.

Reply to  AnEn12
5 years ago

Yes, I’m Italian and womens 200 free is certainly one of the weakest event on women’s side. Anyway at recent Italian Champs, behind Pellegrini (1.56.6), Quadarella, surely not a 200 freer specialist, went 1.58.8, Pirozzi 1.59.0, Caponi 1.59.0, and also Giorgia Romei was under 2′. Not counting that Margherita Panziera, certainly capable of swimming 1.58, wasn’t at the start.
But I’m not interested to establish if was better (or less poor) Italian or British 200 free. There were certain expectations among Worldwide swimming fans (and I’m a Worldwide swimming fan not a mere Italian swimming fan) about British Swimming Champs and those expectations, in my opinion, were disappointed in those events I mentioned.

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

You’re certainly right, Nuoto. Only day 1 but people haven’t delivered (aside from mens 100br).

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

You don’t need to apologise to me, I’ll be the first to say the overall standard has been abysmal! A few bright sparks (Jervis, Thomas, Van Selm), but overall really poor!

The standard of British female swimmers is particularly poor – Looks like Adlington et al inspired young lads into the pool rather than girls haha.

On Anderson, I wouldnt give up on the 200 yet, she was bitterly disappointed and rightly so – I don’t say that in a spiteful way towards her either, it’s just simply that she should be swimming faster than 1.58 as she said herself.

Looks like Peaty is going to have to spare British Swimmings blushes once again…

Reply to  nuotofan
5 years ago

Given Andreson’s splits from Euros in the 4×200 relays (1.55.8 and 1.56.00 if I’m correct) I guess there were some expectation. I myself was curious to see what time she would have hit… and had some hopes for at least an 1.57-mid range. I still believe that at the moment she is the only swimmer GB has for a decent result in the w 200 free. Interested in what she will deliver for the 100 free; wish her all the best!

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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