2024 Aquatics GB Olympic Trials: Day 3 Prelims Recap


We’re entering the halfway point of these Aquatic GB Swimming Championships with more hardware and potential Olympic bids on the line.

The first event on this morning’s lineup was the men’s 1500m free with the faster heat yet to come this evening.

For now, the leader after the slower heats is Leeds’ Kourosh Khodakhah who produced a time of 15:51.51.

However, several contenders will likely overtake him, with Daniel Jervis, Alexander Sargeant and Tyler Melbourne-Smith among tonight’s field.

The women’s 400m IM opening round played out largely as expected with the top 2 seeds going to Stirling’s Katie Shanahan and Loughborough’s 200m free winner here Freya Colbert.

Colbert is the reigning world champion in this event, producing a time of 4:37.14 to top the podium in Doha. That result represented the 2nd-best time of the 20-year-old’s young career. She owns a career-quickest effort of 4;35.28 from Fukuoka to rank as Great Britain’s 3rd-bet performer in history.

But 19-year-old Shanahan is right behind Colbert in the all-time rankings, owning a PB of 4:36.74 from last year’s British Championships.

Both women, therefore, have proven they can hit the 4:37.84 selection standard mandated by Aquatics GB.

Lurking as the 7th seed is 14-year-old Amelie Blocksidge, already the women’s 1500m free champion at this competition. Her PB of 4:48.46 means she’d have to pull out the swim of her life to make the cut; however, the British Age Record of 4:45.21 for 14-year-olds is within reach.

Women’s 400m IM Top 8:

  1. Katie Shanahan (Stirling) – 4:44.25
  2. Freya Colbert (Loughborough) – 4:48.39
  3. Beatrice Varley (Plymouth Leander) – 4:52.32
  4. Michaella Glenister (Stirling) – 4:53.53
  5. Holly Robinson (Repton) – 4:53.80
  6. Suzie McNair (Stirling) – 4:53.91
  7. Amelie Blocksidge (Salford) – 4:55.10
  8. Anna Farrow (Bath) – 4:56.54

The women’s 50m freestyle heats results were delayed. There was a false start in heat 6 which resulted in a re-run of that heat.

Olympian Anna Hopkin is the woman to beat in this 50m freestyle, dominating the field with the sole sub-25-second result among the top 8.

Hopkin hit 24.59 and already beat the 24.65 Aquatics GB qualification standard needed for Paris. She’ll just need to repeat the same caliber of performance this evening to seal the deal.

There was a 3-way tie for a trio of women to capture the 6th seed. Among them is Basildon’s Skye Carter, the 16-year-old reigning Commonwealth Youth Games champion in this race. In Trinidad & Tobago, she posted 25.15 to grab the gold so she’s capable of knocking several more tenths off her AM swim to vie for a medal.

Women’s 50m Free Top 8:

  1. Anna Hopkin (Loughborough) – 24.59
  2. Isabella Hindley (Loughborough) – 25.25
  3. Eva Okaro (Repton) – 25.44
  4. Eri Little (Mt Kelly) – 25.81
  5. Clementine Lovel (Loughborough) – 25.82
  6. Darcy Revitt (Guildford) – 25.87 & Skye Carter (Basildon) – 25.87 & Katie Goodburn (Edinburgh) – 25.97

Max Litchfield was the standout performer in the men’s 400m IM this morning.

The reigning World Championships silver medalist put up a strong time of 4:15.07 to set himself apart from the pack by over 6 seconds. The next-closest competitor was Loughborough teammate Charlie Hutchison who claimed the 2nd seed in 4:21.85.

29-year-old Litchfield is coming off a successful performance in Doha where he notched an effort of 4:10.40 as the runner-up behind winner Lewis Clareburt (4:09.72) of New Zealand. The competition represented Litchfield’s return to the Aquatics GB fold after having not represented the nation since the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Men’s 400m IM Top 8:

  1. Max Litchfield (Loughborough) – 4:15.07
  2. Charlie Hutchison (Loughborough) – 4:21.85
  3. George Smith (Stirling) – 4:22.99
  4. Edward Whittles (Chelsea & West) – 4:23.78
  5. David Annis (Royal Wolverhampton) – 4:24.53
  6. Tony Oliver (Stirling) – 4:25.84
  7. William Ryley (Cardiff) – 4:26.67
  8. Pierce Greening (Stirling) – 4:27.06

Bath speedster Matt Richards put the men’s 100m free field on notice this morning, firing off a quick mark of 48.01 to land lane 4 for tonight’s final.

The 21-year-old opened in 23.30 and closed in 24.71 to clock the 7th-best time of his career.

Next in line behind Richards was Edinburgh’s David Cumberlidge with the 27-year-old hitting 48.16, just over the Aquatics GB-mandated selection standard of 48.06.

That’s a big-time personal best for Cumberlidge, crushing his previous career-swiftest result of 48.76 from the 2019 World University Games. This morning’s outing renders him Great Britain’s 6th-best performer in history.

Big guns Tom Dean, Jacob Whittle and Duncan Scott all made the top 8 with Dean and Whittle tying at 48.47 while Scott was right in the mix at 48.48.

Millfield teammates Alexander Painter and James Guy sneaked in as the respective 7th and 8th seeds, with the former’s 48.66 and latter’s 48.68 marking each athlete’s debut under the 49-second threshold.

Surprisingly, Lewis Burras was shut out of the final, settling for 12th in 49.02. Burras is GBR’s #2 all-time performer, owning a PB of 47.63 from the 2022 World Championships. That means he’s out of contention for a coveted spot on the men’s 4x100m free relay as well as out of an individual slot.

Men’s 100m Free Top 8:

  1. Matt Richards (Millfield) – 48.01
  2. David Cumberlidge (Edinburgh) – 48.16
  3. Alexander Cohool (Loughborough) – 48.44
  4. Tom Dean (Bath) – 48.47 & Jacob Whittle (Bath) – 48.47
  5. Duncan Scott (Stirling) – 48.48
  6. Alexander Painter (Millfield) – 48.66
  7. James Guy (Millfield) – 48.68

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2 months ago

22.33 just won’t cut it

2 months ago

To early to say for sure, but there seems to be a performance divide between Bath swimmers who went to Australia – and therefore haven’t actually raced since December – and those who stayed in the UK and have raced in preparation for trials. A bunch of the former group have looked way off their best, so it’ll be interesting to see what Dean and Whittle can pull out later.

Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

Did Whittle go to Oz? He’s Bath Zuni rather than the PC I think?

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

He went to Australia

Beginner Swimmer at 25
2 months ago

WTH is up with Burras?

2 months ago

Didn’t see that coming from big Dave Cumberlidge. And some terrific swimming from the likes of Painter and Cohoon too. I guess that when you have a competitive platoon of freestylers who could medal – it really encourages your 2nd tier to up their game.

Any predictions for how many male freestyle relay only swimmers they might take and who they might be? Who will be Paris’s Callum Jarvis?

Last edited 2 months ago by jamie5678
Reply to  jamie5678
2 months ago

I’d think may be one for the 4×2. So whoever comes 5th -McMillan may be. They already have Guy as a spare for the 4×1

2 months ago

The big question is will all the lane ropes survive this evening?

Reply to  Lokermotion
2 months ago

TBF they weren’t the most robust lane ropes I’ve ever seen in my life.

Reply to  Lokermotion
2 months ago

Well, Swimming GB has got to mind their pennies these days !! Just happens that a guy in the office heard “down the pub” about a whole kit of pool supplies that apparently fell off the back of a truck. Goin’ for a steal they were !!

2 months ago

Anyone know why Okaro scratched the 50?

Sam Adams
Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

She hasn’t

Reply to  Sam Adams
2 months ago

My bad

Reply to  Stirlo
2 months ago

Showing as L3 in the final

Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

They had a false start in her heat and the buzzer went off but they swam anyway so I think they may do a reswim

2 months ago

Looks like Jimmy Guy has withdrawn from the A final to focus on the fly tomorrow.

Reply to  anymouse
2 months ago

Understandable, he’s probably done enough that they will only take top 5 now assuming he makes the 4×200/ fly and have him and 5th place be in the Olympic relay heats. VERY reliable relay swimmer is Mr. Guy.

2 months ago

Painter is going to make a great addition to Florida’s relays in the fall.

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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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