2023 British Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


The third finals session of the 2023 British Swimming Championships at Ponds Forge are here. Tonight’s finals session features only a handful of event, though there are a few long ones in it. The action will kick off with the fastest heat of the men’s 1500 free, which is a timed finals event in which the slower heats competed this morning. After the fastest heat of the mile, we’ll have traditional finals of the women’s 50 free, men’s 400 IM, women’s 200 fly, and men’s 100 free in that order. If you haven’t been following along on the action so far, these British Championships are running four finals heats for each event: there’s a ‘junior final’, a ‘priority Paris’ final, then the ‘B’ final, and lastly the ‘A’ final.

Matt Richards made waves this morning when he blew away his career best in the men’s 100 free, leading prelims with a sizzling 47.72. That time was Richards’ first performance under 48 seconds and makes him the second-fastest British performer all-time in the event, only 0.09 seconds off Lewis Burras‘ British Record of 47.63. Tonight’s final of the men’s 100 free ought to be a thrilling race, as the top five British performers all-time in the event will all be competing.

Anna Hopkin had a solid swim in the women’s 50 free this morning, clocking a 24.72 to lead the field by a significant margin. Hopkin will be chasing the automatic qualifying time for the World Champs team of 24.38 tonight, which sits just off her personal best of 24.34.

Laura Stephens will also be chasing that qualifying mark in the women’s 200 fly final tonight. Stephens was great this morning, swimming a 2:07.62, which came in just off her career best of 2:07.04. The automatic qualifying time for the British World Champs team is a 2:06.81, so Stephens was only 0.81 seconds off the mark this morning.


  • British Record – 14:45.95, David Davies (2004)


  1. Daniel Jervis – 14:46.95
  2. Tobias Robinson – 15:04.76
  3. Nathan Hughes – 15:29.63

Daniel Jervis was on top of his game tonight in the men’s 1500 free, opening up this finals session with a blistering 14:46.95 to win the event convincingly. The performance comes in just off Jervis’ lifetime best of 14:46.51, which he set back at the 2019 British Championships. This was also Jervis’ second-fastest performance of his career in the LCM 1500 free.

He was just off the British Record as well, which is held by David Davies at 14:45.95 from 2004, 19 years ago. However, Jervis did clear the automatic qualifying standard of 14:48.53 for the British World Champs team. Jervis swam a very consistent race tonight, splitting 4:54.20 on the first 500m, 4:57.62 on the second 500m, and 4:55.13 on the final 500m.

Tobias Robinson came in second tonight, swimming a 15:04.76. That performance comes in just off Robinson’s lifetime best of 15:01.35, which he set at the 2021 British Trials two years ago.


  • British Record – 23.96, Francesca Halsall (2014)


  1. Anna Hopkin – 24.51
  2. Rebecca Guy – 25.30
  3. Eva Okaro – 25.36

Anna Hopkin was great tonight, speeding to victory in the women’s 50 free in 24.51. That time comes in just 0.17 seconds off Hopkin’s lifetime best of 24.34, which has stood as her best since the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju. Importantly, Hopkin’s time tonight is faster than her 2022 best of 24.60, which she swam at the World Championships in Budapest last June.

Hopkin missed the automatic qualifying standard of 24.38 tonight, however, she did dip under the secondary qualifying standard of 24.65. Having achieved the secondary standard, it will be up to the discretion of British Swimming whether Hopkin earns a spot on the World Champs team in the event this summer.

Rebecca Guy swam to a second-place finish tonight in 25.30. That performance was massive for Guy, marking a personal best in the event. Her previous best of 25.34 had stood since the 2014 British Championships, meaning Guy cracked her PB in the event for the first time in nine years tonight.

Youngster Eva Okaro took third tonight, swimming a 25.36. That performance was just off Okaro’s career best of 25.33, which she swam at the 2021 European Junior Championships.



  1. Charlie Hutchison – 4:17.89
  2. William Riley – 4:19.11
  3. Mark Szaranek – 4:19.56

Roughly eight seconds separated gold medalist Charlie Hutchison and the World Champs qualifying standard of 4:09.19 in the 400 IM. Hutchison swam his way to first place in this final when he touched in a 4:17.89, shaving more than six seconds off his prelims time of 4:24.05.

This swim for Hutchison is right outside of his lifetime best of 4:17.63, which he swam four years ago at the European Junior Championships in Kazan. The qualifying standard in this event is exactly equal to Duncan Scott‘s British record in this event from last year. Scott will race today in the men’s 100 freestyle but opted of of this race.

William Riley moved up from 5th place in the heats (4:27.33) to second place with a 4:19.11. He got to the wall less than half a second before top-seeded Mark Szaranek who took bronze with his 4:19.56. Szaranek was also under his morning time (4:22.34) here, but missed his best time of 4:13.72 by around six seconds.


  • British Record – 2:04.83, Ellen Gandy (2009)


  1. Laura Stephens – 2:06.62
  2. Emily Large – 2:07.33
  3. Keanna Macinnes – 2:08.05

Laura Stephens had a big swim in the women’s 200 butterfly, cracking 2:07.00 for the first time in her career. Stephens came into this meet with a 2021 best time of 2:07.04 and neared that time during the morning session with a 2:07.62. With a spot in lane four in the final, Stephens made the most of this race and shaved exactly one second off her time from prelims.

Stephens’ time is not only a best time, but it also gets her under the World Championships qualifying standard of 2:06.81 by a narrow margin. That makes her the second person to qualify for World Champs today after Daniel Jervis in the 1500 freestyle.

Emily Large put forth a solid effort and neared the 2:07 barrier as well as the qualifying standard, but she fell a but short with a 2:07.33. That’s still 2:09.36 from prelims and it’s slightly faster than her former lifetime best of 2:07.74 from back in 2017. Keanna Macinnes rounded out the top three with a 2:08.05 and Clara Schlosshan came in a few seconds later with a 2:11.27 for fourth.

That time from Macinnes is a new Scottish record in the 200 butterfly, improving upon Hannah Miley‘s 2:08.24 from the 2009 British Swimming Championships.



  1. Lewis Burras – 47.99
  2. Duncan Scott – 48.00
  3. Matt Richards – 48.02

After swimming the fastest time in the world this season during prelims, Matt Richards was a touch slower in the final with a 48.02. His morning swim of 47.72 would have won this final, but Lewis Burras and Duncan Scott wound up out-touching Richards here.

The medalists in this race made the top three almost as close as it can get as they all touched within 0.03 seconds. Burras was the only one to dip under 48, hovering above his lifetime best and British record of 47.63 from last year. It would have taken a new national record to hit the qualification standard of 47.60, meaning that no man in the field has automatically qualified.

The top three men were, however, under the consideration standard. Considering that Richards’ swim in the morning was the fastest at the meet but not under the auto-qualifying cut, it’s not clear who Great Britain will select to race this event individually this summer.

Tom Dean was just outside of the top three here with a 48.32 for fourth place and Jacob Whittle touched in fifth with a 48.66. Edward Mildred and Jack McMillan were each under 49 seconds as well, posting a 48.83 and 48.97, respectively.

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8 months ago

British Swimming have ditched the limit on discretionary selections.

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

Fantastic news 😊

Goated Mcintosh
Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

comment image

8 months ago

Is there any country that has as stringent A-cuts at GB (Japan went a little softer this year, probably because the WC is on home soil – they chose to go with the 2024 OQT).

Reply to  Dan
8 months ago

I don’t think so

8 months ago

I guess I was a bit greedy for wanting to see three under 48. Definitely wasn’t expecting Duncan to get second.

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago


Reply to  Swimm
8 months ago

Duncan? He seemed off leading into trials and I thought it would take a time faster than his PB to make the top 2.

Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

Very very greedy indeed

8 months ago

On the men’s side, Jervis in the 1500 meters was simply electric!
And his post-race interview was a heartfelt tribute to family and team.
For the rest, I would have thought that the 400 IM and esp. the 100 free to be Uber-fast,
but, well, it was a bit of a disappointment with those automatic qualifying times
not materializing as I thought.

8 months ago

If you thought the 400IM was going to be fast that’s on you buddy

Reply to  DK99
8 months ago

How true!
It is ON me – now, please take 2 aspirin and call the doctor in the morning. You’ll feel much better, really!

8 months ago

With the 3 top British 400IM not entering, one does wonder where you were seeing an automatic qualifier appear from ?

Realistically, with a QT of 47.60 it was always going to be a reach to see someone hit that mark. GBR is more realistically looking to contend in M4X100 and on that score; they’ve largely ticked that box as I can only see USA & ITA having faster composite times come the end of the qualifying period.

Would have put down Stephens as a plus point. Don’t necessarily have her as a major contender but her time does have her very much in finalist trajectory.

Reply to  commonwombat
8 months ago

It’s called “stepping up” / it’s called “excitement” / it’s called “exceeding expectations” / Morse Code to follow.

Reply to  commonwombat
8 months ago

Wait for the Australian and Hungarian championships. These teams have a Superman (Chalmers and Milak) to easily run down any British in the closing laps

8 months ago

Interested to see what Scott can do in the 200s. Sounds like he’s been putting in big volume and it hasn’t hurt his speed much so if the back end is there…

Last edited 8 months ago by Bjoel
8 months ago

I wish that any of the swimmers who got under the consideration times will have their spots guaranteed..those British selectors cannot just select eight discretionary picks

Last edited 8 months ago by Titobiloluwa
Reply to  Titobiloluwa
8 months ago

Ah but they will though, especially if the “right swimmers” aren’t on the team.

8 months ago

Was kinda worried Dunks wouldn’t make the 200fr individually. But after this session, it’s looking more likely that Dunks and Matt will get them 👀

Reply to  CY~
8 months ago

Looked really good…I must say

8 months ago

Race of the Night:200fly