2020 Edinburgh Itn’l: Laura Stephens & Freya Anderson Put On Show


Although the majority of the swimming meets around the world for this weekend and beyond have been shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the 2020 Edinburgh International Swim Meet is rolling on in full force.

And the swimmers are competing like they mean it.

We reported how 19-year-old Bath swimmer Tom Dean put on a show in the men’s 200m free, claiming a mild upset win in the in-season race ahead of competitors and fellow World Championships teammates James Guy and Duncan Scott.

Dean grabbed the gold in a huge lifetime best of 1:46.03, making him the 4th fastest British swimmer of all-time. Guy was impressive in his own right, putting up his best-ever non-championships swim of 1:46.79. Scott rounded out the top 3 in 1:47.39. You can read more about Dean’s 200m free effort here.

Dean is now 6th in the world this season.

2019-2020 LCM MEN 200 FREE

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The women’s 200m fly was another display of British talent, despite reigning Commonwealth Games champion Alys Thomas dropping out of the mix.

Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens stepped up and took charge, crushing a stellar outing of 2:07.62 to easily defeat the rest of the field, including the 2017 World Junior Champion Emily Large of Newcastle. Large touched in 2:09.52 as runner-up while 3-time Olympian Hannah Miley brought home the bronze in 2:13.92.

Splitting 1:01.41/1:06.21, Stephens’ time of 2:07.62 checks-in as a lifetime best, beating the 2:07.96 she logged at the 2019 British Championships behind winner the aforementioned Thomas. In fact, Stephens’ time here now makes her the 5th fastest British performer all-time, bumping herself up from 7th with that swim from last year.

All-Time British Women’s 200m Fly Performers

#1 – Ellen Gandy, 2:04.83, 2009
#2 – Jemma Lowe, 2:05.36, 2011
#3 – Alys Thomas, 2:05.45, 2018
#4 – Charlotte Atkinson, 2:07.06, 2017
#5 – Laura Stephens, 2:07.52, 2020

Of note, Atkinson was in this morning’s heats and took the 3rd seed in 2:11.57 before bowing out of the final.

Stephens now ranks 6th in the world this season.

2019-2020 LCM WOMEN 200 FLY

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Carrying on the best time streak was 19-year-old Freya Anderson, as the Ellesmere Titan dipped under the 25-second mark in the women’s 50m freestyle for the first time in her career.

Entering this meet, the two-time 2019 European Short Course Champion’s 50m free personal best rested at the 25.06 she produced at the Flanders Swimming Cup which took place just this past January. That rendered the teen as Great Britain’s 6th fastest performer all-time.

With here outing here, she frog hops Emily Barclay to now become GBR’s 5th fastest 50m freestyler ever, with the British Olympic Trials still a month away.

Loughborough’s Joe Litchfield outperformed recent BUCS Champion Luke Greenbank in the men’s 100m back tonight. Litchfield hit the wall in 54.99 to dip under the 55-second threshold, while Greenbank was a hair behind in 55.15. University of Stirling’s Craig McNally was in the mix as well, finishing in 55.67 for bronze.

The men’s 200m breast saw speedster Adam Peaty log a time of 2:15.09 in the prelims before dropping the final. It was James Wilby, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion and World Championships semi-finalist in this event that grabbed gold in tonight’s final in a time of 2:09.47.

That kept Stirling’s Ross Murdoch at bay, with Murdoch scoring silver in 2:11.54.

The women’s 100m breast was especially close, with Sarah Vasey getting it done in 1:07.41 to Siobhan-Marie O’Connor‘s 1:07.77. The 200m breast national record holder, Jocelyn Ulyett, was right there as well, getting under 1:08 in 1:07.83.

At McCullagh, O’Connor grabbed the gold in 1:08.14, tying Vasey in the process.

Additional Notes:

  • University of Stirling’s Kathleen Dawson registered another sub-minute 100m backstroke, which is a terrific sign for the swimmer who has battled injuries of late. She produced a time of 59.74 here to pair with her 59-point outings at both BUCS and McCullagh International.
  • Jacob Peters of Poole came away victorious in the men’s 50m fly, touching in 24.08 ahead of Stirling’s Calum Bain who earned silver in 24.39.
  • The women’s 400m free saw Monique Olivier reap gold in 4:11.59.
  • Scott and Dean were both back in action in the men’s 200m IM event, which saw Scott snag the only sub-2:00 effort of the field. He touched in 1:59.88, with Mark Szaranek next in line in 2:01.05 to Dean’s bronze in 2:01.49.

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2 years ago

If by some miracle Champs go ahead, we have plenty to be excited about. Dean looked sublime, really can’t wait to see him swim a tapered 400. Anderson’s skins were eye-catching; 24.8 PB in round one, and still able to sprint a 25.2 after 5 rounds at one minute intervals – Her 200 could be quite something this year.

Sapnu puas
2 years ago

Wait at Kathleen Dawson coming through with a 59.74?! Easily her second fastest time ever and it’s only March. V impressive. If she can drop a few more tenths she might be guaranteeing herself a place on the mixed medley relay at Tokyo and a potential Olympic medal?
Laura Stephens & Tom Dean also v impressive (is Dean going to upset Scott or Guy at trials?!) but I’m continually over excited about Freya Anderson and have decided this 24.88 means she’s going 52.9x and 1.55.
Don’t take this year away from me corona

Reply to  Sapnu puas
2 years ago

She was 1.56.0 in her first 200 of the year – 1.55 isn’t an unrealistic expectation. Her skins were the big indicator though; 25.2 after 5 rounds of skins at 1 minute intervals is really impressive. Speed endurance is well and truly banked.

Reply to  Sapnu puas
2 years ago

I’m going with 53.2 and 1:55.3 from Anderson. Also really excited to see Dean’s first shot at the 400 this season.

Reply to  Jeff
2 years ago

She has used Edinburgh as a chance to play around with pacing before, pretty much negative split her 100 last year, so I’ll hold fire on times. Based on those skins though, she could go really fast this year.

Reply to  Jeff
2 years ago

I’m going 52.8 – and she won’t be the fastest in the uk – and 1.54.8

Reply to  Luigi
2 years ago

I’m not convinced she breaks 53s this year. Agree Hopkin ends the year faster.

2 years ago

Quite a few swimmers showing really promising times – hope trials can go ahead normally(probably won’t though) as it should keep some of these athletes such as Anderson and Dean on course for a really strong season.

About Retta Race

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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