2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials: Day 6 Prelims Recap


We’ve made it to the final day of action at the 2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials. After 5 intense days of competition, the most competitive domestic event of the men’s 200m freestyle headlined the morning heats, with the men’s 200m back, women’s 100m breast and women’s 100m free also on the agenda.

Tonight’s finals will bring the quickest heat of the women’s 800m free as competitors put everything they have in the pool to make the nation’s Olympic squad for Paris 2024.

5 of the top 10 best-ever British 200m backstroke performers were among this morning’s field, led by Olympic medalist Luke Greenbank.

26-year-old Greenbank produced a time of 1:57.35 to hold over a second advantage over Birmingham’s newly-minted 100m backstroke national record holder Oliver Morgan.

Morgan hit 1:58.89 while Carnegie’s Jonny Marshall rounded out the top 3 in 1:58.93.

Both Morgan and Marshall fired off big-time personal bests in the 100m sprint with Morgan establishing a new national record of 52.70. Marshall settled for silver in that race with a PB of 53.03 and Greenbank settled for 3rd in 53.82.

Greenbank’s 200m back national record rests at 1:54.43 from the 2021 European Championships. The Aquatics GB Olympic selection standard sits at 1:57.28 so the top tier of tonight’s final is already within striking distance of that benchmark.

Men’s 200m Back Top 8:

  1. Luke Greenbank (Loughborough) – 1:57.35
  2. Oliver Morgan (Birmingham) – 1:58.89
  3. Jonny Marshall (Carnegie) – 1:58.93
  4. Brodie Williams (Bath) – 1:59.43
  5. Charlie Brown (Loughborough) – 1:59.59
  6. Matthew Ward (Bath) – 1:59.98
  7. Cameron Brooker (Bath) – 2:00.89
  8. Jack Skerry (Bath) – 2:00.95

The women’s 100m breaststroke national record of 1:06.21 set by Molly Renshaw in 2021 is in serious jeopardy, as evidenced by a statement-making performance by Angharad Evans in the heats.

Evans, a former Georgia Bulldog in the NCAA, fired off a time of 1:06.27 to put her competitors on notice en route to earning the pole position. That performance shaved .04 off her previous personal best of 1:06.25 from last month’s Edinburgh International.

This rising star has been on an upward trajectory for several months. At BUCS in February, Evans produced a swim of 1:06.65 to get under 1:07 for the first time. That erased her previous PB of 1:07.27 notched at December’s Rotterdam Qualification Meet. Before that effort, the Stirling athlete had never broken the 1:08 barrier.

But other women are gunning for Olympic qualification, including 200m breaststroke gold medalist here Kara Hanlon and 50m breast national record holder Imogen Clark.

Hanlon clocked 1:07.11 and Hanlon registered 1:08.94 to throw their hats into the Olympic qualification ring. The women will all be chasing the selection standard of 1:06.31.

Women’s 100m Breast Top 8:

  1. Angharad Evans (Stirling) – 1:06.27
  2. Kara Hanlon (Edinburgh) – 1:07.11
  3. Imogen Clark (Derby Excel) – 1:08.94
  4. Sienna Robinson (Loughborough) – 1:08.93
  5. Lilly Booker (Loughborough) – 1:09.33
  6. Anna Morgan (Edinburgh) – 1:09.46
  7. Amy Crowley (Cardiff) – 1:09.48
  8. Leah Schlosshan (Leeds) – 1:09.78

Loughborough’s Anna Hopkin is seeking to qualify for Paris in a second event, leading the women’s 100m free with a quick 53.68 this morning.

Hopkin already qualified in the 50m free and her effort in this longer sprint already falls within .13 of the Aquatics GB-mandated Olympic standard of 53.55. She’s been as fast as 52.55 in her career, the national record she put on the books at the 2020 Olympic Games. There in Tokyo, she ultimately placed 7th in 52.83.

Surprisingly, Bath’s Freya Anderson appeared, capturing the 3rd seed in 55.01 behind Repton’s Eva Okaro.

Anderson originally said her racing here in London was doubtful as she is recovering from mono (glandular fever). She bowed out of the 200m free earlier in the competition but dove in for the 100m, most likely because the number of discretionary Olympic picks is threatening her Paris qualification. Look for a follow-up post on this situation.

As for 18-year-old Okaro, she dropped out of the 100m fly final last night to focus on this 100m free, with relay selection also on the line.

Okaro clocked 54.60, already just .04 off her lifetime best of 54.56 put up just last month in Sheffield.

Lucy Hope who qualified for the women’s 4x200m free relay already, as well as 400m IM and 200m free champion here Freya Colbert lurk as the respective 6th and 7th seeds.

Women’s 100m Free Top 8:

  1. Anna Hopkin (Loughborough) – 53.68
  2. Eva Okaro (Repton) – 54.60
  3. Freya Anderson (Bath) – 55.01
  4. Isabella Hindley (Loughborough) – 55.12
  5. Abbie Wood (Loughborough) – 55.34
  6. Lucy Hope (Stirling) – 55.40
  7. Freya Colbert (Loughborough) – 55.44
  8. Evelyn Davis (Stirling) – 55.51

One of the most competitive events on the planet is the men’s 200m free and the domestic players here in Great Britain are among the best-ever. The race will come down to the touch, with the top 4 fastest Brit performers in history battling each other for the title, individual qualification and 4x200m free relay qualification.

Tonight’s final is a must-watch race, with Olympic champion Tom Dean in lane 4 for the main event. Dean notched the top seed in 1:46.47, leading a quartet of sub-1:47 swimmers. He owns the national record in 1:44.22, which took him to the top of the podium in Tokyo.

Flanking him for tonight’s final will be Millfield’s 100m free champion here Matt Richards and Stirling’s Jack McMillan. Richards hit 1:46.64 and McMillan logged 1:46.79.

James Guy (1:46.90) and Duncan Scott (1:47.18) made it to tonight’s final as did 400m free winner here Kieran Bird (1:47.17). Scott took silver behind Dean at the 2020 Olymipc Games in a PB of 1:44.26 to rank as the #2 GBR man ever.

The QT stands at 1:45.96, a threshold under which Dean, Scott, Richards and Guy have all delved in their careers.

Great Britain’s Top 5 Men’s LCM 200m Freestyler Performers All-Time

  1. Tom Dean – 1:44.22, 2020 Olympic Games
  2. Duncan Scott – 1:44.26, 2020 Olympic Games
  3. Matt Richards – 1:44.30, 2023 World Championships
  4.  James Guy – 1:45.14, 2015 World Championships
  5. Robbie Renwick – 1:45.99, 2009 World Championships

Men’s 200m Free Top 8:

  1. Tom Dean (Bath) – 1:46.47
  2. Matt Richards (Millfield) – 1:46.64
  3. Jack McMillan (Stirling) – 1:46.79
  4. James Guy (Millfield) – 1:46.90
  5. Kieran Bird (Bath) – 1:47.17
  6. Duncan Scott (Stirling) – 1:47.18
  7. Luke Turley (Bath) – 1:47.26
  8. Joe Litchfield (Loughborough) – 1:47.76

Missing out on the top 8:

9. Max Litchfield (Loughborough) – 1:48.01
10. Cameron Kurle (Millfield) – 1;48.64
11. Charlie Hutchison (Loughborough) – 1:48.79
12. Jacob Whittle (Bath) – 1:48.84
13. Evans Jones (Stirling) – 1:49.01
14. Alexander Painter (Millfield) – 1:49.29

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1 month ago

This is gonna be a really tight selection tonight.

Greenback probably easily nabs a 200 back spot and either Marshall or Morgan will get another bid since they both are likely going. Williams and Brown are still possible contenders, but they need big drops.

Evans overperforming complicates Hanlon’s chances, as she will now need to get under the qualifying cut and beat Evans (assuming Evans replicates her performance tonight) if she doesn’t want to get left off in favor of a stronger relay leg. Her 200 breast qualification is arguably one of the weaker bids for discretionary selection. That said, we could see both of them making it or Evans could finish slower than the qualifying standard and Hanlon… Read more »

Scuncan Dott V2
Reply to  cheese
1 month ago

Doubt Cox will be selected since both Medi and Dawson are on the team already. Don’t see Hanlon being selected either if she finishes 2nd behind Evans and outside the QT.

Mcmillan and Bird much more likely to be picked instead of those 2, assuming they finish 5th/6th in the 2 Free.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scuncan Dott V2
Reply to  cheese
1 month ago

This comment is kind of like you are arguing with yourself 😂

1 month ago

Love Jimmy Guy, but a relay of Dean, Scott, Richards and McMillan would be quite cool (English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish).

Reply to  Iain
1 month ago

That’s never happening 😂

Reply to  Iain
1 month ago

Ahhahahah what did I tell you

1 month ago

Think most likely Dean Scott and Richards top three not sure on the order though. Would like to see Guy make the relay team but the fly final has me worried. Macmillan probably most likely to break into the top four from the rest.

Reply to  Bjoel
1 month ago

Also excited to see what Morgan can drop in the 200 back

1 month ago

Hot take: THE GUY will break 1:45 for the first time in his career tonight

Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

This take is so hot I’d be careful touching it

Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

Will be a madness!!!!

1 month ago

Jimmy’s free looked class

Scuncan Dott V2
Reply to  Jonny
1 month ago

That’s what people said after the heat of the 100 Fly, let’s wait for the final before making judgements.

1 month ago

Some stellar racing tonight – Men’s 200bk & 200fr look likely to give us genuinely elite times, as could the women’s 100br. I’d say that’s fitness proven for Anderson too – They’ll take her for the relays, both of which look capable of finishing top 5 without really troubling the top 3 – She was showing great form in December so hopefully she can return to that.

Samuel Adams
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Agreed, although that 4×200 looks like a medal contender with a fully fit Freya. 1 maybe 2 1:55’s, a 1:56 from Abbie and I can see Medi or Lucy swimming a 1:57 low/ 1:56 high. Especially Medi as I’m sure she can drop time from this week given the circumstances

Reply to  Samuel Adams
1 month ago

The women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay medal contention depends on the health of Penny Oleksiak and the form of Taylor Ruck.

World Aquatics Championships
Women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay
2022 – CAN third w/ Oleksiak & Ruck
2023 – CAN fifth w/o Oleksiak & Ruck

Meanwhile, as Rowdy Gaines would say “the Chinese are always mysterious”.

Reply to  Samuel Adams
1 month ago

I can see them going 7.45, which would be battling Canada for 4th. Both would need one of USA, AUS or CHN to misfire badly or DQ.

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Concur. It’s a very solid 4X200 but 7.45 (very creditworthy as it would be) is still likely to be around 3sec away from the lower rung of the podium. They would realistically need one of the big 3 to mess up badly and/or CAN not regain their mojo.

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Are we sure the 100 free relay is going to make the nomination time? Nomination time is 3:36.4, they swam 3:38.4 in the heats. Big question is how much Anderson has left in the tank.

The medley will be close as well, Hopkin and Evans between them need to drop .72 from the heats.

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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