2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials: Day 5 Prelims Recap


We entered the penultimate day of action at the 2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials in London.

As a refresher, the competition represents the sole opportunity for athletes to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games, with first-place finishers in each event being selected provided they beat the Aquatics GB-mandated selection standard outlined in their qualification policy linked above.

The Head Performance Director Chris Spice and Head Coach Bill Furniss can discretionarily add swimmers to the roster up to the maximum of 30 so we won’t entirely know who will represent the nation in Paris until the official lineup is released after this meet.

The women’s 100m fly was the first event of the morning with the top 4 contenders dipping under the 59-second barrier to begin their qualification quest.

Harriet Jones of Cardiff led the pack with a speedy 58.44 to land lane 4. Next to her in tonight’s final will be Keanna MacInnes of Stirling, the champion in the 200m butterfly earlier in the meet to punch her ticket to the Games.

Teammate Lucy Grieve will also flank Jones while the 200m fly runner-up here and reigning world champion Laura Stephens stopped the clock in 58.97.

The women will be chasing the stiff selection standard of 57.17, a benchmark that no British woman has ever hit. The national record stands at the 57.25 Ellen Gandy put on the books over a decade ago in 2012.

The closest anyone has come among these active swimmers is Jones who owns a lifetime best of 57.79 from 3 years ago.

Of note, Eva Okaro of Repton claimed the 6th seed in 1:00.14 but withdrew from the event, bumping last night’s 400m free gold medalist Holly Hibbott (1:00.76) into the top 8.

Women’s 100m Fly Top 8:

  1. Harriet Jones (Cardiff) – 58.44
  2. Keanna MacInnes (Stirling) – 58.78
  3. Lucy Grieve (Stirling) – 58.95
  4. Laura Stephens (Loughborough) – 58.97
  5. Ciara Schlosshan (Edinburgh) – 1:00.02
  6. Eva Okaro (Repton) – 1:00.14
  7. Shannon Stott (Sheffield) – 1:00.68
  8. Hollie Widdows (Mt Kelly) 1:00.73

At one time the men’s 200m breast was a strong event for the British, with the likes of Ross Murdoch, Craig Benson, Andrew Willis and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson among its arsenal.

With those above retired, James Wilby has carried the torch, earning 2022 European Championships gold (2:08.96) and 2022 Commonwealth Games silver (2:08.59).

Wilby represents GBR’s 3rd-best performer ever, owning a lifetime best of 2:07.49 from 2019.

At last year’s British Championships, however, 30-year-old Wilby punched 2:09.88 while this year his times have included 2:11.98 at BUCS in February and 2:12.03 at the Edinburgh International last month.

The Loughborough ace will need to find another gear to get near the 2:08.95 selection standard. Wilby missed 100m breast qualification earlier in the meet, with his 2nd-place time of 59.47 missing the QT; therefore, this is the veteran’s last chance to earn a Paris bid.

Men’s 200m Breast Top 8:

  1. James Wilby (Loughborough) – 2:12.29
  2. Greg Butler (Loughborough) – 2:12.87
  3. George Smith (Stirling) – 2:14.70
  4. Archie Goodburn (Edinburgh) – 2:14.92
  5. Max Morgan (Reed) – 2:16.04
  6. Rory Dickson (Stirling) – 2:16.46
  7. Maxwell Anderson (Cardiff) – 2:16.49
  8. Harvey Freeman (Loughborough) – 2:16.70

Half of the men’s 50m freestyle final qualifiers fall among the top 10 best-ever British performers, giving us a high-octane race to watch this evening.

4-time World Championships medalist in the event, 29-year-old Ben Proud, led the way with a statement-making 21.70. That marked the sole time of the stacked field under 22 seconds to earn the pole position. It also already cleared the Aquatics GB qualification standard of 21.88 needed for Paris.

In Fukuoka, Proud punched a time of 21.58 to claim bronze while at this year’s World Championships, he was a hair quicker in 21.53 to repeat the same podium placement. His consistency makes him the man to beat this evening.

But Alexander Cohoon, the unexpected 4th-place finisher in the men’s 100m free made his presence known this morning. His time of 22.00 already checks in as a lifetime best, shaving .07 off his 22.07 logged at the U23 Championships last year.

Matt Richards, the 100m free champion here, produced 22.14 to lurk as the 3rd seed while rapidly improving Alexander Painter and David Cumberlidge also threw their hats into the ring.

Loughborough’s Lewis Burras has to give this race everything he’s got as the 24-year-old missed making the final in his other event of the 100m free. He time trialed a 50m on the opening half of his B-final 100m free and posted 22.33. He’ll need to muster the kind of speed he conjured at the 2022 Commonwealth Games where he hit a PB of 21.68 to become GBR’s #2 performer all-time.

Men’s 50m Free Top 8:

  1. Ben Proud (Bath) – 21.70
  2. Alexander Cohoon (Loughborough) – 22.00
  3. Matt Richards (Millfield) – 22.14
  4. Alexander Painter (Millfield) – 22.28
  5. David Cumberlidge (Edinburgh) – 22.37
  6. Lewis Burras (Loughborough) – 22.44
  7. Jordan Cooley (Leeds) – 22.47
  8. Calvin Fry (Loughborough) – 22.49

The women’s 200m IM racers held their cards relatively close to their chests this morning.

Olympic finalist Abbie Wood of Loughborough was the standout swimmer, clocking 2:11.33 to hold over a 2-second advantage over Katie Shanahan.

Shanahan hit 2:13.83 and continues her momentum from having earned silvers in both the 400m IM and 200m back already here.

Reigning 400m IM world champion and winner here Freya Colbert logged 2:14.26 as the 3rd seed while Leeds’ Leah Schlosshan was another second behind her in 2:15.20.

Wood owns a personal best of 2:09.15 in this event, a time she registered for 4th place at the 2020 Olympic Games. That rendered her Great Britain’s #2 performer in history with Shanahan right behind with a PB of 2:09.40 from last year’s edition of these championships.

Schlosshan earned 2023 European Junior Championshps gold in 2:12.41 and her PB resets at 2:11.72. Both she and Colbert, whose PB stands at 2:12.02, will need to drop major time to approach the Aquatics GB-mandated selection standard of 2:10.62.

Women’s 200m IM Top 8:

  1. Abbie Wood (Loughborough) – 2:11.33
  2. Katie Shanahan (Stirling) – 2:13.83
  3. Freya Colbert (Loughborough) – 2:14.26
  4. Leah Schlosshan (Leeds) – 2:15.20
  5. Alicia Wilson (Guildford) – 2:15.91
  6. Phoebe Cooper (Sheffield) – 2:16.43
  7. Candice Hall (Sheffield) – 2:17.01
  8. Lilly Booker (Loughborough) – 2:17.28

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
European in the Pool
2 months ago

On this date, April 6, in 1896, the first Olympics opened in Athens.

Still going strong 128 years later.

NornIron Swim
Reply to  European in the Pool
2 months ago

No medals for Literature or Sculpting these days though!

2 months ago

Freya Anderson is currently still on the start lists for the 100 free. Possibility that her and her coaches have seen the amount of spaces filling up and don’t want to leave a completely discretionary pick to chance…

Reply to  Jess
2 months ago

Maybe a combination of the potential of the relay not qualifying without her and also even not fully fit, she should be able to help with that. If she makes the top 4 and also the 4×100 qualify, it makes her selection a certainty and no discretion pick will be needed.

Brit swim fan
2 months ago

Morgan just 0.02 off national 16 year old age group record in 200br. Wouldn’t be surprised if he drops this by 2 seconds tonight.

2 months ago

Nice from Proud, he said in his interview he was working on going fast in the morning to replicate the conditions of the Olympics so I think he probably put in more effort than he needed to. I’ll predict a 21.53 which is a shame because I was quietly holding out hope that he’d made a breakthrough in his swimming/training after his short course 20.18 and he was going to be really quick here but we will see.

2 months ago

For the sake of the free relays McInnes or Stephen’s needs to take this dub as they are already on the train. Jones fumbled at the last Olympics similarly to Litchfeild, not quite to the same standard however.

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.

Read More »