2024 British Olympic Trials: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2024 Aquatics GB Swimming CHAMPIONSHIPS (OLYMPIC TRIALS)

Heat Sheet

Order of Events

  • Men’s 100 Butterfly
  • Women’s 400 Freestyle
  • Women’s 200 Backstroke
  • Men’s 200 Individual Medley

Well, friends, we are halfway through the meet program of finals sessions. After tonight, there will be just two more days for competitors to punch their tickets to Paris. Picking right up where we left off last night, expect tonight to see some fast swimming.

We start off with the Men’s 100 butterfly, where the National Record holder, James Guy, will look to defend his Olympic Trials title. Yesterday, Guy swam to a personal best of 48.68 in the 100 free, showing that he is in good form. Despite this, however, Guy finds himself on the outsides as he was just 4th this morning, and while he is expected to swim faster than his 52.26 prelim swim, he will still need to beat Jacob Peters, Ed Mildred, and Jamie Ingram, all who were faster this morning. Peters, last summer, swam 51.16 to become the 2nd fastest performer in British history and beat Guy at the 2023 British Championships.

Holly Hibbott, like Guy, is the defending Olympic Trials champ but finds herself 4th after this morning. Top seed Leah Crisp swam 4:15.16 and will duke it out with 14-year-old Amelie Blocksidge. Blocksidge, who sits just .21 at 4:15.37, won the 1500 two nights ago and will look to double up on national titles. With the nomination time at 4:04.98, it seems unlikely that any swimmer will hit that mark based on this morning’s times and their personal best; these swimmers are still competing for best times, consideration for the Olympics, as well as for the European Junior champs.

It’s three for three in events where the defending Olympic trial champ is seeded 4th tonight, showing off the talent of the next generation of swimming. It is a tough qualifying standard of 2:08.91, but Kathleen Dawson, who won the 100 back, will look to continue her comeback tour. Top seed Honey Osrin leads the field by over two seconds but will have to hold off the likes of Dawson, Holly McGill, and Katie Shanahan. Shanahan, who finished 2nd in the 400 IM, is the Scottish national record-holder and the reigning Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.

We finish up with the 200 IM, where the 2021 Tokyo silver medalist, Duncan Scott, will look to reassert his dominance in the IM events after choosing to swim the 100 free yesterday and saw Max Litchfield take down his record in the 400 IM. Scott was the only swimmer this morning under 2:00, as he hit the wall in 1:58.88. Litchfield and Evan Jones will flank Scott tonight but will be under pressure from Thomas Dean and Mark Szaranek, as all four of them are seeded within .80 of each other.

Men’s 100 Butterfly – Finals

  • World Record: 49.45 – Caeleb Dressel, USA (2021)
  • British Record: 50.67 – James Guy (2017)
  • 2021 Champion: James Guy – 51.44
  • Nomination Standard: 51.56
  • OLY A/B Standards: 51.67/51.93

Top 8:

  1. Joe Litchfield (L’borogh PC) – 51.71
  2. Joshua Gammon (Bath Uni) – 51.82
  3. Jacob Peters (Bath PC) – 51.88
  4. Edward Mildred (Bath PC) – 52.11
  5. James Guy (Millfield) – 52.29
  6. Lewis Fraser (Swansea Uni) – 52.32
  7. Jamie Ingram (Co Manch Aq) – 52.74
  8. Thomas Carswell (Edinburgh Uni) – 53.00

With six of the fastest ten swimmers in British history in the final, it was always going to be fast, and it certainly didn’t disappoint; it was a thrilling race, but perhaps not the speedy results expected. Jacob Peters led at the halfway turn, touching in 23.63. But it wasn’t enough as strong underwater, and a speedy back-half by Joe Litchfield caused the upset. Litchfield, who closed in 27.48, finished in 51.71.

Litchfield’s time, however, was just outside of the nomination standard, meaning that he did not gain automatic qualification to the team, but during the medal ceremony was told that as a result of his swim, the 4×100 medley had qualified.

Joshua Gammon, who had a great swim to win the 200 fly on night 1, placed second out of lane 7 in 51.82. Jacob Peters, who this morning tied the nomination standard, was slower this evening, hitting the wall in 3rd (51.88); this was the only event that Peters appeared on the Entries List in, meaning his Olympic hopes appear to be over.

James Guy finished 5th, .03 slower than this morning. He will have to wait until the last day and the 200-meter free to see if he can make his third Olympic Games.

Because Litchfield’s time was slower than the Olympic A standard of 51.67, even if Guy were to make the team in the 200 free, it seems unlikely he would be able to swim the 100 fly, as National Olympic Committees can only enter two swimmers if both have hit the A standard.

Women’s 400 Freestyle – Finals

  • World Record: 3:55.38 – Ariarne Titmus, Australia (2023)
  • British Record: 4:00.60 – Joanne Jackson (2009)
  • 2021 Champion: Holly Hibbott – 4:07.03
  • Nomination Standard: 4:04.98
  • OLY A/B Standards: 4:07.90/4:09.14

Top 8:

  1. Holly Hibbott (Bath PC) – 4:11.67
  2. Amelie Blocksidge (Co Salford) – 4:12.09
  3. Fleur Lewis (Lboro Uni) – 4:14.10
  4. Lucy Fox (Wycombe Dist) -4:14.30
  5. Michaella Glenister (Uni of Stirling) – 4:15.27
  6. Leah Crisp (Bath PC) – 4:15.88
  7. Megan Barnes (Mt Kelly) – 4:16.61
  8. Jemima Hall (Bath Uni) – 4:17.78

It was an interesting open first 200 as lanes 6, 7, and 8 appeared to go out fast, all in a line, leaving the middle lanes nearly a body length behind. Swimming out of lane 6, Holly Hibbott made her move at around 175 meters and was in the lead at the 200, flipping in 2:03.95. 1500 winner Amelie Blocksidge showed her back half speed and surged in the last 200 after flipping in 5th (2:06.26)  to try to reel in the earlier leader but ran out of room as Hibbott held on to win in a time of 4:11.67.

Hibbott’s time is slower than the Nomination Standard and the Olympic Standards but is a strong swim for the former Commonwealth Games silver medalists, as she hasn’t swum the 400 at a British Championships recently.

Blocksidge had to settle for the silver, hitting the wall in 4:12.09, but cleared the 14-year-old Age Group record of 4:15.51, set by Anne Bochman back in 2008, before Blocksidge was born.

Women’s 200 Backstroke– Finals

  • World Record: 2:03.14 – Kaylee McKeown, Australia (2023)
  • British Record: 2:06.66 – Gemma Spofforth (2009)
  • 2021 Champion: Kathleen Dawson – 2:08.14
  • Nomination Standard: 2:08.91
  • OLY A/B Standards: 2:10.39/2:11.04

Top 8:

  1. Honey Osrin (Lboro Uni) – 2:08.37
  2. Katie Shanahan (Uni of Stirling) – 2:08.53
  3. Holly McGill (Uni of Stirling) – 2:09.10
  4. Kathleen Dawson (Uni of Stirling) – 2:10.25
  5. Pia Murray (Leyland Barr) – 2:13.39
  6. Sophie Shaw (Co Manchester Aq) – 2:14.68
  7. Martyna Karabacz (Chelsea&West) – 2:15.50
  8. Rachel Anderson (Lboro Uni) – 2:16.94

Honey Osrin led the field out in 1:01.96 and continued to build that lead over Katie Shanahan and Holly McGill. It was a brave start to the race as both Shanahan and McGill closed fast over the last 50 to close the gap, but Osrin had enough of an advantage to hold on to win hitting the wall in 2:08.37. With that time, Osrin qualifies for her first Olympic Games.

Shanahan, who closed in 32.69, just ran out of the pool and had to settle for 2nd in a time of 2:08.53, just .16 behind. The Scot, who finished 4th at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, has finished second in two different events now, with both times being under the nomination standard, and while she is the top seed in the 200 IM, she very likely has already wrapped up a discretionary selection to the team and booked her spot on the Chunnel train. [Do people still call it the Chunnel? It has been a while since I lived in Britain]

Scotland and, more specifically, the University of Stirling showed off their backstroke prowess, taking 2nd -4th as Holly McGill dropped under 2:10 for the first time, finishing 3rd in 2:10.90, and Kathleen Dawson, the 100 back winner, finished 4th in 2:10.25.

Men’s 200 I.M. – Finals

  • World Record: 1:54.00- Ryan Lochte, USA (2011)
  • British Record: 1:55.28 – Duncan Scott (2021)
  • 2021 Champion: Duncan Scott – 1:55.90
  • Nomination Standard: 1:57.49
  • OLY A/B Standards: 1:57.94/1:58.53

Top 9:

  1. Duncan Scott (Uni of Stirling) – 1:55.91
  2. Thomas Dean (Bath PC) – 1:56.44
  3. Max Litchfield (L’borogh PC) – 1:58.11
  4. Charlie Hutchinson (L’borogh PC) – 1:59.94
  5. Matthew Ward (Bath PC) – 2:00.16
  6. Evan Jones (Uni of Stirling) – 2:00.31
  7. Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) – 2:00.54
  8. William Ryley (Co Cardiff) – 2:03.00
  9. Joel Thompson (Shivers) – 2:03.97

Anticipation has been building for this event all evening, and the adage of saving the best of last held true.

Duncan Scott led the field out to the first turn, hitting the wall in 24.92, but was hard-pressed by Evan Jones in the backstroke leg. The breaststroke, often the saving grace or Achilles heel for IMers, saw Scott swim 33.34, more than a second faster than everyone else in the field, save one.

Splitting 33.31 and pulling himself from 5th to 2nd was Thomas Dean. Dean, referred to by Duncan Scott as Dean-O, was 1.01 second behind at the 150 but showed off his prodigious freestyle skills and was beginning to run down Scott on the last leg, splitting 27.40 as compared to Scott’s 27.88, but ultimately ran out of space.

Scott, the Scot, touched first in 1:55.91, just .01 off his winning time from 2021. Dean was just half a second behind at 1:56.44. For Scott, the time represents a strong swim as he won the silver medal last year in Fukuoka in 1:55.95 and is a massive improvement upon the 1:57.75 he swam to place 6th in Doha (although he likely was not rested for it). Dean was 1:56.07 in Fukuoka, which was good for 3rd, and with a little more training could easily get back to that time.

Both swimmers have already qualified for the team as part of the 4×100 free relay, but Scott adds an individual event to his program (he finished 2nd in the 100 free), and Dean adds his first as he was 3rd in the 100 free. Both will go head-to-head in Sunday’s 200 free, where they sit behind only the top seed, Matthew Richards.

Max Litchfield continued his run of success, nabbing the bronze medal. His time of 1:58.11 was a marked improvement over his entry time of 1:59.98. Litchfield should be happy with the result and is already qualified for the team by virtue of his record-breaking 400 IM. Litchfield also has the 200 free on Sunday and could play spoiler to some as he is seeded dangerously in 10th.

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han qihao
2 months ago

So the question is, will the British medley relay be woman man man woman or man man woman woman?

Sub13
Reply to  han qihao
2 months ago

That is an excellent question. With Dawson and Guy being slower than Tokyo and Morgan being faster it seems like MMFF might be the way to go. However, GB does not have a strong female 100 fly. Their fastest time since Tokyo is a 57.97 and a 57 mid split will cook their chances.

Troyy
Reply to  han qihao
2 months ago

comment image

Entry times used for events that haven’t happened yet.

Last edited 2 months ago by Troyy
JJ jfhfjg
2 months ago

Where are all the experts saying James Guy looked confortable like if he was taking out a 200 fly, haha idiots

Jonny
Reply to  JJ jfhfjg
2 months ago

We’re still here, as no matter what time he goes he will still be doing that relay at paris 🤣🤣🤣

Peter
2 months ago

Zero chance of a medal in the medley relay

Swimm
2 months ago

SOS for Millfield School!

Jany
Reply to  Swimm
2 months ago

Definitely not having a good week so far.

200 Free could still save it but they’ve been average, especially the Youth swimmers.

Derp
2 months ago

Duncan Scott still looks 12 when he 50 he will look 20 , great swim I always root for him he’s like piccolo just a step behind the saiyans

BairnOwl
Reply to  Derp
2 months ago

Me when I think about how Duncan Scott is older than Kyle Chalmers.

Sub13
Reply to  BairnOwl
2 months ago

Perpetual Scottish Twink

RealCrocker5040
2 months ago

It is also possible that the top 4 all go 1:44 in the 2free final

Nobody is a lock for the individual right now

Swammer
2 months ago

Not so long back Honey Osrin got kicked out of the High Performance Uni squad and was training with Andy Wallace. He should get most of the credit for that swim not Ian Hulme.

Swimm
Reply to  Swammer
2 months ago

She will be slower in Paris for sure. Joe Litchfield style

Aquajosh
2 months ago

In other news, in the first day of competition at Swim Open Stockholm, Sarah Sjostrom swam another 50 fly that is faster than anyone else has in history, going 24.92 and breaking the meet record.

Alison England
Reply to  Aquajosh
2 months ago

I thought you meant she’d broken her own WR. You meant faster than anyone else has in the history of that competition!