Freya Anderson Busts Out 1:56.06 200 Free For First Time Ever Under 1:57


18-year-old Freya Anderson already turned some heads with a gold medal-worthy 100m free swim last night in Antwerp, registering a time of 53.81 for her quickest in-season ever.

This morning on day 2 of this 2020 Flanders Cup, Anderson logged another impressive outing, stopping the clock in 25.06 to become Great Britain’s 6th fastest 50m free in history with the final yet to go.

Flash forward to the women’s 200m free final at the meet and Anderson has crushed another lifetime best, hitting the wall in a big-time 1:56.06.

After establishing herself as the top-seeded swimmer in the event with a morning swim of 1:58.78, the only time under 2:00, the Ellesmere Titan unleashed her best-ever performance and sole outing under 1:57 tonight.

Splitting 57.34/58.72, Anderson’s 1:56.06 performance tonight obliterated her previous personal best of 1:57.51, a time she produced to place 12th at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships. In that semi-final, Anderson split 56.87/1:00.64, showing how much the teen has improved on the front half while keeping up the momentum in the home stretch.

With her first-ever sub-1:57 effort tonight, Anderson now becomes Great Britain’s 3rd fastest performer ever in the women’s 200m free and the quickest since 2014.

Her outing this evening crushed the previous meet record set by Dutch Olympic veteran Femke Heemskerk of 1:56.54 2 years ago.

All-Time British Female 200m Freestyle Performers:

1 Joanne Jackson Loughboro Un 86 13th Fina World Champs2009 Rome 1 28/07/09 1:55.54
2 Siobhan-Marie O’Connor Loughboro Un 95 Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow 1 24/07/14 1:55.82
3 Freya Anderson Ellesmere 01 2020 Flanders Cup 1:56.06
4 Caitlin McClatchey Northampton 85 13th Fina World Champs2009 Rome 1 28/07/09 1:56.62
5 Rebecca Adlington Nova Centurion 89 2008 British Championships Sheffield 1 05/04/08 1:56.76


In This Story

Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Did not expect that at all. Thought she would PB but not by that much. If it’s anything like the SCM season then there is still more time to drop as well.

Sapnu puas

Oooop. That’s a bit naughty. 1.55 let’s goo. Shame the 200m freestyle has about 10 realistic medal contenders sjhssj


So many contenders, probably one of the most stacked events heading into this year. I would say Pellegrini, Titmus, Ledecky, Sjostrom, Ruck, Haughey, Yang, Anderson and McKeon are all capable of winning medals.


I would include Allison Schmitt in your list of medal contenders since she just went a 1:56:01 on Friday and has a 1:53 PB.


Good point. If she is consistent this season then she could be a factor.


Exciting season ahead for Anderson, and all of us who have followed her progress for many years.

I’d totally forgotten SMOC swam 1.55 as an 18 year old. The most versatile British swimmer of all time? 53/1.55 free, 57s fly, 1.06 breast, 2.06 IM, was also a Euro Junior 400IM champ… Certainly hard to beat.


In that period (2014) O’ Connor was extremely strong in free, fly and breast also on international stage: looked the perfect 200 Imer, even capable to defeat the Iron Lady.

Sapnu puas

Oh this makes me so sad. Obviously a cracking career but can’t help and feel that she could’ve (maybe should’ve) done more. Still time I know, but damn that illness has done her dirty


I know exactly how you feel. Only 20 years old when she went toe-to-toe with Hosszu in Rio. What could have been without her illness. Still, an absolute class act.


I feel good about her this year though. As far as I am aware she hasn’t been too affected by her illness for a little while now and I feel like by changing coaches she is getting a fresh start and putting the past behind her.

Sapnu puas

Let us pray cos I still have wild dreams that she’ll be propping up a 4×100 and 4×200 relay in Tokyo too. Whew. But British swimming doesn’t want that 6th place huh

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!