2022 BRITISH SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, April 5th – Sunday, April 10th
- Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield
- LCM (50m)
- World Championships & Commonwealth Games-qualifying competition
- British Swimming 2022 Budapest Selection Policy
- Commonwealth Games Selection Policies vary by home nation
- SwimSwam Preview
- Draft Entries
- Live Results
- Day 1 Finals Heat Sheet
Great Britain has a pair of Freyas charging toward Paris. 18-year old Freya Colbert had a breakout swim on Tuesday to finish in 3rd place in the women’s 200 free at the British Championships, finishing one spot behind Freya Anderson.
The 18-year old Colbert trains with Nova Centurion based out of Nottingham, and entered the meet with a best time of 2:00.90 in the 200 free. She swam 1:57.90, dropping three seconds from her pre-meet PB to finish 3rd in the race. This came after a 2:00.33 in prelims.
|Freya Colbert||Freya Colbert|
|Old PB||New PB|
Colbert has been a better short course than long course swimmer to this point of her career. She historically has gone ‘up’ from the 200 to the 400 and 800 rather than down to the sprint races, though her new-found front-half speed in this 200 might indicate a change in focus.
She’s also a very good IMer, winning that race as well on Tuesday in 4:41.27. Her best time coming into the meet was 4:43 set in 2019 when she was only 15 years old.
Colbert swam at the 2021 European Junior Championships, where she was 9th in the 200 free, 11th in the 400 free, and 5th in the 400 IM.
Colbert missed setting the British U17 Record by less than a month: she turned 18 on March 8th. The U17 record of 1:58.54 was set by Georgia Coates in 2016. The U18 record is a 1:55.82 by Siobhan-Marie O’Connor from 2019.
“I’m so happy with that,” Colbert said of her 400 IM win. “It’s about a two-second PB, and I’ve been stuck on 4:43 for a while, so I’m really happy to drop. It couldn’t have come at a better time either – so I’m very happy and excited about what’s to come.
“I raced a few weeks ago in Edinburgh and that was very good there. I had a good taper, training has all gone very well, everything was pointing in a good direction so I just wanted to come here and prove I can do what I’ve been hitting in training.”
The only 18-year old Brits in history who have been faster are O’Connor and the aforementioned Anderson, who swam 1:56.06 in January 2020.
None of the top finishers in the 800 free relay hit the individual consideration time for the World Championships, and the group’s aggregate time from the final didn’t clear the 7:49.99 standard for selection consideration: the aggregate time was 7:52.58. The top four would have had to average 1:57.49 to hit that standard, which was faster than anyone was individually.
Top 4 Finishers, Tuesday’s 200 free final:
- Abbie Wood, Loughborough – 1:57.61
- Freya Anderson, Bath – 1:57.63
- Freya Colbert, Nova Centurion – 1:57.90
- Medi Harris, Swansea – 1:59.44
Harris’ swim was also a best time by a full second.
Great Britain didn’t send a women’s 800 free relay to the Olympics either, but with Colbert’s swim, the best British relay, at its best, is top 5 in the world caliber. That includes Lucy Hope, who was 1:59.70 in the B final but is Britain’s #3 in the last 12 months.
The decision-making problem for British Swimming in the 800 free relay, and in many women’s relays, is this: the jump from top 5 in the world (Russian Olympic Committee was 5th in Tokyo in 7:52.15) to top 4 in the world (Canada was 4th in 7:43.77) is a massive gap. The good news is that with 23-year old Wood, 21 year old Anderson, 18 year old Colbert, and 20 year old Harris (plus a few other young talents like 17-year old Tamryn Van Selm, who have both also been 1:59s), the youth and talent is there to clear that gap. We certainly saw the British men do it, so the structure is in place, and with the right group of talent now entering their prime, the women will chase that same glory.