2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials: Day 2 Prelims Recap


After a thrilling night of action from London, the Aquatics GB Championships rolled on this morning with heats setting up potential Olympic qualifiers.

The session kicked off with the opening rounds of the women’s 1500m freestyle, with the fastest 8 competitors set to appear in tonight’s finals.

As it stands right now, Swansea’s Emily Forwood holds the top spot after clocking 17:11.43. However, things will most likely change once the likes of Fleur Lewis and Amelie Blocksidge dive in.

The first event for the men was the 200m butterfly, with the field chasing a stiff Aquatics GB-mandated qualification standard of 1:54.97. Only two swimmers have been under that benchmark in the entire history of British Swimming – national record holder Michael Rock (1:54.58) and Olympian James Guy (1:54.91).

In fact, none of the 10 swiftest-ever British swimmers in this event are competing, as racers to the tune of Duncan Scott, Cameron Brodie and Max Litchfield are focusing on other events.

That leaves this 2fly field entirely open but it will take a huge lifetime best to beat the clock.

University of Aberdeen’s Thomas Beeley led the prelims in 1:59.27, the sole sub-2:00 time of the field. He owns a career-quickest mark of 1:57.00 from last year’s edition of these championships.

Josh Gammon, Matin Balsini and James Woodward are then tightly packed in the 2:00 zone.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Top 8:

  1. Thomas Beeley (University of Aberdeen) – 1:59.27
  2. Josh Gammon (Bath) – 2:00.01
  3. Matin Balsini (Guildford) – 2:00.33
  4. James Woodward (Hatfield) – 2:00.53
  5. Patrick Braddock (Swansea) – 2:01.49
  6. Rhys Edwards (Swansea) – 2:01.88
  7. Thomas Sansome (Loughborough) – 2:02.07
  8. Andrew Bertoli (Stirling) – 2:02.20

The women’s 200m breaststroke was also on the subdued side with just 5 competitors entering sub-2:30 territory.

Leading the way was Edinburgh’s Kara Hanlon, clocking a mark of 2:26.69 to land lane 4 for tonight’s final.

A trio of Loughborough swimmers was next in line as Sienna Robinson, Gillian Kay Davey and Lilly Booker grabbed their spots. Robinson hit 2:27.54 while Davey and Booker notched 2:28.22 and 2:28.41, respectively.

Stirling’s Angharad Evans should not be ignored in this race, positioned as the 5th seed for the main event.

21-year-old Evans has been making major primarily in the 100m distance, climbing up the British all-time rankings in the process.

In this longer event, Evans owns a lifetime best of 2:27.93 from earlier this year; therefore, she and the rest of the field need to produce something special to get into the territory of the 2:23.04 qualification standard.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke Top 8:

  1. Kara Hanlon (Edinburgh) – 2:26.69
  2. Sienna Robinson (Loughborough) – 2:27.54
  3. Gillian Kay Davey (Loughborough) – 2:28.22
  4. Lilly Booker (Loughborough) – 2:28.41
  5. Angharad Evans (Stirling) – 2:29.08
  6. Anna Morgan (Edinburgh) – 2:30.45
  7. Leah Schloshan (Leeds) – 2:31.02
  8. Charlotte Bianchi (Sheffield) – 2:31.32

20-year-old Oliver Morgan of Birmingham busted out a huge career-quickest time of 52.87 to take the top seed in the men’s 100m back.

His outing represented his first-ever foray under the 53-second barrier, becoming the #2 British performer in history in the process of taking the top seed.

Carnegie’s Jonny Marshall pumped out a time of 53.47, a huge lifetime best in its own right. Florida Gator Marshall previously owned a PB of 54.36 from earlier this year but dropped nearly a second en route to capturing the 2nd seed.

Then there’s Bath’s Matthew Ward, the 18-year-old SCM 100 back Scottish national record holder who captured 4 individual golds at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. Ward clinched the 3rd seed in 54.21, a new British Age Record.

Men’s 100m Back Top 8:

  1. Oliver Morgan (Birmingham) – 52.87
  2. Jonny Marshall (Carnegie) – 53.47
  3. Matthew Ward (Bath) – 54.21 *British Age Record
  4. Luke Greenbank (Loughborough) – 54.22
  5. Brodie Williams (Bath) – 54.41
  6. Jonathon Adam (Bath) – 54.68
  7. Alexander Painter (Millfield) – 54.71
  8. Charlie Brown (Loughborough) – 54.95

The final event of the morning was the women’s 100m back with a significant performance by Stirling’s Kathleen Dawson.

26-year-old Dawson touched in a time of 59.81 to secure the pole position, reaping the sole sub-minute effort of the pack.

Dawson’s time represents her first result under a minute since the 2020 Olympic Games, boding well for her prospects of reaching the 59.89 qualification time once again in tonight’s final.

Lauren Cox was nearly a second behind, hitting 1:00.77 as the 2nd seed. Teammate Medi Harris, who earned an Olympic bid last night as a member of the women’s 4x200m free relay, will also flank Dawson with a morning outing of 1:00.92.

Women’s 100m Back Top 8:

  1. Kathleen Dawson (Stirling) – 59.81
  2. Lauren Cox (Loughborough) – 1:00.77
  3. Medi Harris (Loughborough) – 1:00.92
  4. Honey Osrin (Loughborough) – 1:01.16
  5. Blythe Kinsman (Mt Kelly) – 1:01.37
  6. Pia Murray (Leyland Barr) – 1:01.73
  7. Holly McGill (Stirling) – 1:01.79
  8. Alicia Wilson (Guildford City) – 1:01.82

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2 months ago

Guess they are not very good at the 2 Fly

2 months ago

Great to see Dawson go under a minute. Hopefully Harris and Cox can step it up to challenge her tonight.
On the 200 fly, I don’t think Cameron Brodie is “focusing on other events”, I think he’s focused on being retired. And Martin Balsini won’t be in the final tonight as non-Brits can swim heats only.
Disappointing for Cam Booker not to make the 100 back final. Perhaps the lack of racing hurt him, though it doesn’t seem to have done Ward too much harm! Excellent from Morgan and Marshall, hope Jonno Adam can give them a race in the final.
Massive near-2 second pb for Alex Painter. Wonder if that might indicate he’s ready to go… Read more »

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

I think Painter has scratched for the final – so it looks like he’s targeting the 100 free.

Reply to  jamie5678
2 months ago

Interesting. Should take a 48 to make that final you think?
If British Swimming’s data is to believed Painter had never been under a minute for the back until his one 56 point earlier this year. That’s quite a trajectory.

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

About time after after a promising early 2022

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

I suppose it’s possible that Painter’s just hasn’t swum many 100-backs and this is a delayed adjustment. Obviously, it’s better to hope that he’s instead made a dramatic jump. We’ll find out soon enough!

In terms of the 100 free final – I think it will be close – but yes, I’d guess it will take sub 49 to make it through. The talent is there. It’s conceivable that someone dips under 49 and still misses out. Someone will probably get through unexpectedly and someone will miss out unexpectedly.

Painter is going in the first seeded heat against Scott, Cohoon and Mildred. It’s unlikely, but you could see 4 guys break 49 in just the first seeded heat. I… Read more »

Reply to  jamie5678
2 months ago

Very possible RE delayed adjustment, but he typically needs his taper and has been a lot faster in season this year, so I’m hopeful he has a nice PB in him

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

Possible mistaken identity with Cam Brooker?

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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