Chris Walker-Hebborn blasts 52.8 in 100 back to open British Nationals

The prelims were all about Great Britain’s loaded 200 breaststroking corps, but backstroker Chris Walker-Hebborn stole the show in the final with the world’s best 100 back time.

The 24-year-old Walker-Hebborn, who won gold at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Champs last summer, crushed a 52.88 to win the 100 back by more than a second. That vaults him past Japan’s Ryosuke Irie for the world lead – those men are the only two to break 53 so far this year. Only three men went 52 in all of 2014 combined.

2014-2015 LCM Men 100 Back

View Top 26»

The aforementioned 200 breast was the night’s closing event, and provided its own fireworks. Rising star Adam Peaty came through with a big win over a tough field, going 2:08.34. Peaty is coming off a breakout summer, though his success last year came much more in the 50- and 100-meter distances. This race proves that Peaty is a force to be reckoned with in all three breaststroking distances, though, as his time sits second in the world.

2014-2015 LCM Men 200 Breast

View Top 26»

Andrew Willis was second in 2:08.59, and Ross Murdoch third in 2:08.90. All three men now rank within the world’s top four for the year.

The other top-5 world time came in the other men’s event, the 400 free. In that race, James Guy went 3:44.16, and moves from 5th to 2nd in the world ranks. Second-place Nicholas Grainger was 3:45.89, the 5th-best time in the world.

2014-2015 LCM Men 400 Free

View Top 26»

In the women’s 100 free, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor outlasted Francesca Halsall 53.83 to 54.10 for the win. Meanwhile, Hannah Miley overcame top-seeded Jemma Lowe to win the 200 fly in 2:08.63.

Full results

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
samuel huntington
5 years ago

whoa – the front half of GB’s relay is gonna be fast!! the US butterflyer will have to catch up it looks like

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

could this bring Phelps back in the picture?

Reply to  Jón Bjarnason
5 years ago

Phelps is going to swim in Kazan, its pretty clear. The ban from worlds was stupid.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  pvdh
5 years ago

Perhaps but it was his ‘choice’ & no doubt part of the package of atonement set out before the judge . Could Phelps afford to go back on his word ? it is not as if his sentence was considered too heavy by Maryland media.

What you are suggesting , is that he is not a man of his word. I’ve no reason to think he is not.

This is an opportunity for a team mate to rise to the challenge also.

Reply to  Jón Bjarnason
5 years ago

I doubt other countries’ times are going to have much to do with whether or not Phelps swims at Worlds. Even without Phelps, a middle of the road projection for the USA medley relay is probably around 3:29.5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t find any other country that has been under 3:31 in the past five years.

Where the speculation gets really interesting…if the coach’s opt for the “hot hands,” the USA medley relay team could consist of three swimmers who don’t actually swim the corresponding individual 100: Murphy, Cordes, and Lochte. Not hugely likely that all three would get those spots, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
5 years ago

US are certainly the favourites – What makes it interesting is the improvement of some countries who aren’t traditionally there in the medley relay.

What makes Britain interesting is the front half combined with Barrett who is a brilliant relay swimmer and Phelps will be pushed to take too much water off him in a relay. That leaves free, US are obviously FAR better… but who thought Kozma could anchor in 47.0? Or Lezak in 46.0? It will be close going into freestyle, which makes it exciting.

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Considering how strong Adam Barrett has been on the fly leg for GB, they should have a pretty good lead at the 300. The freestyle will be a big question though for the Brits.

Reply to  WHKirch
5 years ago

…What? Peaty even if he goes an outrageous 57.9 on the breast split will at best be tied with USA, which has Cordes who has gone 58 mid on splits and will only get faster. Grevers will blow Hebborn away when he is in shape

Reply to  pvdh
5 years ago

There would be nothing outrageous about Peaty going 57.9 on the breast split, seeing as he could very well be under 58 flat start by Rio.

Reply to  Reid
5 years ago

Even if Cordes out splits Peaty we all know he is going to jump early anyway. Might as well throw Micheal Andrew on that relay.

Reply to  pvdh
5 years ago

Peaty looks like going 57.9 individually by the time Rio comes around.

samuel huntington
Reply to  pvdh
5 years ago

you don’t think Peaty will also be getting faster?? 57 is certainly possible this summer. And well Grevers is not young anymore.

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

not significantly. Peaty has been training in LCM all his life. And you stop improving at such big rates as you get faster, that is obvious. How many people said Cate Campbell would have the 100 free wr by now? Magnussen? Peaty is going to get the WR, but sub 58? no way

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

PVDH, Adam Peaty has said himself that he only started to take his swimming genuinely seriously in 2011/12 after a big time improvement making Euro JNR final. If you look at technical aspects of the stroke – Peaty is raw, more raw than Cordes. His angles (particularly legs) upon entry at the start are worse than most age groupers, his pull through/down and recovery lacks the power his stroke has (take note of what happened in Doha.. he lost a lot of ground at turns)… he still has big work to do on his angles and rechniques. I’d add that Adam Peaty is not Cate Campbell – her improvement only seemed so sudden due to injury, wasn’t she like 53… Read more »

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Grevers is going to be in WR shape in 2015 and 2016. Cordes has gone 58.mid on splits and only now will be actually training for long course. Peaty and Hebborn would need to go their absolute best to be tied at the half-way mark.

Reply to  pvdh
5 years ago

I say Grevers will be under 52 by Rio and Cordes will be under 59 flat start by Rio.

Team Rwanda
Reply to  Pvk
5 years ago

Cordes: Yes. Grevers: No way

Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

Samuel – don’t forget that Adam Barrett swam the fastest long course relay split on butterfly in Europe (and possibly the world?) in Berlin last season too.

Jeremy Thomas
5 years ago

I’ve been following British swimming since a boy (a long time ago). I have to say these promise to to be the very best years ahead.

5 years ago

So, Britain now have 5 men sub 2.10 in the 200 Breast recently and another two in the 2.10s? The other thing I notice, 9 of the world top 10 are from JPN(4) & GBR (5) – 2,3,4,5 in world for Britain… If Murdoch can get ahead of Benson in the 100 and qualify, Peaty has implied he will scratch the 200 and the swim will then go to Ross. That would be ideal for GB as Ross is just coming back into shape after a late start to his season due to illness/injury.

Great start, looking at tomorrows events it won’t be as fast 😉

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »