Max Litchfield is a British medley specialist and 2016 Rio Olympian. He caught the swimming bug after starting lessons aged five. He has trained at the City of Sheffield under head coach Russ Barber since he was 18 years old. Outside the pool, he studies Physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam University.
Litchfield took the traditional path through the British swimming ranks, starting out at the European Juniors at 18 to making his Olympic debut four years later. In his international debut at the 2012 European Junior Championships, he made the final in both medley events, finishing 6th each time.
A year later at the same event, Litchfield had a much busier schedule. He came away from Poznan with a gold in the 800 meter freestyle relay and a silver in the 200 meter medley. He also made the final in the 200 meter freestyle and 400 meter freestyle and medley.
In 2013 he was also at the World Junior Championships where he helped Great Britain to gold again in the 800 meter freestyle relay, breaking the World Junior record in the process. In his individual races, he made the final in the medley double.
Litchfield moved up to the senior squad in 2014, racing at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games. He came 4th in the 400 meter medley at the European Championships and 4th in the 800 meter freestyle relay for England at the Commonwealth Games.
Road to Rio
At the British Championships, Litchfield qualified for his first Olympic games when he won his first National title. He took gold in the 400 meter medley to punch his ticket to Rio.
A month later at the London Olympic pool, Litchfield joined his Olympic teammates at the European Championships where he made the final in both medley events.
2016 Rio Olympics
Making his Olympic debut at 21-years-old, Litchfield finished just off the podium in the 400 meter medley. After the butterfly and backstroke legs he was in seventh place, but he moved up three places during the breaststroke leg and held on to his fourth place in to the finish. He touched in a new lifetime best in 4:11.62. Litchfield was the first of seven fourth place finishes for British swimmers at the games. But with six swimming medals it was the most successful games ever for Great Britain.
2017 World Championships
At his World Championship debut, Litchfield finished fourth in the 200 meter medley touching in 1:56.86.
In the 400 meter medley heats he broke the British record in 4:10.57 to qualify for the final seeded second. In the final he just missed out on a podium spot after a tough battle with Japan’s Daiya Seto on the freestyle leg. He finished 4th in a new British and Commonwealth record of 4:09.62.
2018 European Championships
Dealing with a shoulder injury that forced him to withdraw from the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April, Litchfield proved he was back in shape at the 2018 Euros. He medaled in both IM events, garnering a bronze in the 200 (1:57.96) and a silver in the 400 (4:11.00).
2021 European Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
Litchfield picked up 2 medals in Budapest, earning bronze in the 400 IM (4:11.56) and swimming prelims of the 800 free relay which went on to earn silver.