Benson Clears Milestone, 2 Para Swimming WR Fall In Sheffield


While a key contingent of British elite talent is currently racing their way to potential world titles in Budapest, there are still plenty of super quick athletes ready to tear up the pool at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Such was the case today, as Imogen Clark threatened her own British national record in the 50m breaststroke, coming within .03 during tonight’s final. In April at the British National Championships, Clark set a new mark of 30.21 and tonight the 18-year-old registered a 30.24 to take the 17/18 title with ease. Loughborough’s Beth Aitchison took the women’s 19+ title tonight in 31.15.

Two-time Olympian Craig Benson from the University of Stirling conquered a major milestone by dipping under the minute threshold for the first time in the 100m breaststroke. First clinching the first seed in prelims with a time of 59.92, Benson found another gear to drop his new PB even further to 59.63 in order to take gold in the men’s 19+ category.

Tom Derbyshire won a thrilling 400m freestyle battle in the men’s 19+ category, as the Bath swimmer dueled with Sheffield’s Samuel Budd throughout the entire duration of the contest. Budd led through 300m, but Derbyshire turned it on in the final stretch to ultimately take the win in 3:51.98. Budd wound up a fingernail behind, touching in 3:51.98 for silver.

Another notable performance came in the form of Eleanor Faulkner in the 200m freestyle, where the 24-year-old Olympian slashed nearly a second off of her personal best in the event. Having broken 1:58 for the first time last April in Glasgow to take the Senior national title, Faulkner delved into new territory by coming close to the 1:57 barrier, winning the 19+ category in 1:57.04. Faulkner’s time checks-in as 6th all-time in the British rankings.

For the age group record set, Nick Pyle of Newcastle was able to reach a new age record of 25.85 in the 50m backstroke, becoming the first 16-year-old Brit to break 26 seconds in the event.

Incredibly, two Para Swimming World Records bit the dust by the close of business of just the first session. City of Manchester Aquatics’ Thomas Hamer first equaled the S14 men’s 200m freestyle world record of 1:56.27 in the morning session, before shaving off another .09 in the MC final to record a new record time of 1:56.18.

Nova Centre’s Ollie Hynd crushed a new S8 world record in the 400m freestyle, clocking 4:1974 to score 1025 points and win the multi-class final.

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James Freezer AKA Mad Dog
6 years ago

FYI, the video link above is for the British Championships earlier this year, not the British Summer Championships. That link is HERE:

6 years ago

Typical – the one time Faulkner doesn’t flop in the summer, she isn’t selected.

Reply to  Iain
6 years ago

You’re right. It might be the pressure of the big meet, rather than the time of the year, that’s historically caused the flop.

Reply to  Iain
6 years ago

I think we are seeing a very much improved Ellie Faulkner. He nations times (54.9/4.07) suggested she had a time getting near 1.56 in her. With Carlin out and no 200 swimmer – I really think she should have been added.

Reply to  Dee
6 years ago

Kath Greenslade 1.58 behind also encouraging. Throw in back to form Carlin & O’Connor are you have a team capable of sub 7:50 again. Long time since Britain had that.

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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