Great Britain’s Golden Generation of Sprinters Grows by One on Thursday in Rome


18-year-old Edward Mildred dropped a 48.77 in the men’s 100 free final at the European Junior Championships on Thursday to win silver, joining a growing list of young men posting 47’s in the 100 freestyle in Great Britain.

Mildred’s swim was overlooked in the wake of the 47.30 by the gold medalist David Popovici of Romania, who is only 16, but for the Brits, the development of Mildred is equally as exciting.

24-year-old Duncan Scott is the current British National record holder in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free.

18-year-old Matthew Richards holds the next fastest 100 free time of 48.2, followed by 21-year-old Thomas Dean.

Dean, Richards, James Guy, and Scott just broke the British National Record in the 4×100 freestyle relay with a time of. 3:11.56. 25-year-old Guy split a 47.92 on that relay.

16-year-old Jacob Whittle is also in the mix. He dropped a 48.55 in June to break the British Age Record.

For Mildred, whose best time coming into the meet was just 49.95, the potential to join a British relay for Paris or Los Angeles is tantalizing. Even if we exclude Scott, who is 24, Great Britain has a quartet of swimmers born in the year 2000-or-later who have been at least 48.7.

On add-up of best flat-start times, that group already can boast a 3:13.7. That leaves them just two-and-a-half second away from what it took to medal at Worlds in 2019 (where the actually British relay placed 5th).

If we give them a modest second-and-a-half for relay exchanges, then three teenagers and a barely-21-year-old Dean would need to find another second of drop, in an event that generally is dominated by swimmers in their 20s, by Los Angeles to begin conversations of a podium.

Let’s just say, the British 4×100 freestyle relay looks well-supplied for the foreseeable future. The path has been laid by the likes of Scott, James Guy, and Ben Proud in the British men’s sprint legacy, but it’s the next generation that appears as though it might be the golden generation for British men’s sprinting.

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Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

We will never let the British 4X100 free relay win in Paris!
That’s inconceivable! 😆

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

I think in a few years GB will be like the french sprint teams of 2008-2016. Always in gold contention in the 4×100. Scott, Richards, Whittle will probably all be 47 swimmers soon plus one of Dean, Mildred and Guy who will be 48 low.

GB is already a heavyweight in the 4×200. They’ve won two of the last three world championship golds and silver at the last olympics.

Thomas Selig
1 year ago

Mildred not swimming the 200 free here, and GB aren’t entered in the 4×200 men relay (which bizarrely is on the same day as the 200 individual heats and semis). I suppose he already has the 100 free and 100, 200 fly as individuals, plus quite a few relays, so it makes some sense. But given his form here I’d have liked to see what he could do in the 200, so selfishly am a bit disappointed.

Freestyle relays looking really strong for GB in the next few years. Dean, Whittle, Richards, Mildred all born 2000 or later, and Scott isn’t exactly ancient.

1 year ago

Exciting crop!

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
1 year ago

“need to find another second to drop by Los Angeles”, lol that’s 7 years away

Last edited 1 year ago by SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Relay Enthusiast
1 year ago

Duncan scott is far from british record holder in 50 free. Ben Proud did 21.11 lol

Awesome article tho. Duncan Scott will only be 27 by the 2024 olympics so he has at least 2 world championships and one olympics left in him, maybe more.

For 4×100 Free options in the next olympic cycle GB has a lot of promising options:
Duncan Scott (one of the best relay swimmers ever)
Matt Richards 48.23 (19 years old)
Tom Dean 48.30 (21 years old)
Jacob Whittle 48.55 (16 years old)
Ed Mildred 48.77 (18 years old)
James Guy (has split 47.7)
Lewis Burras (Swims at south carolina, breaking programme records.)
Joe Litchfield 48.85 (still very young)

Last edited 1 year ago by Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 year ago

What happened to Burras? I was surprised not to see him at trials

Guess Who
Reply to  Thorpedo
1 year ago

He put his education first, and who can blame him!!

Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 year ago

Hmmmm I’d have to disagree with Duncan Scott being one of the best relay swimmers ever, James Guy is defiantly in contention splitting 1.43.8 and 5plus 1.44s in his career. Not alone the versatility of going 50.s in the 100 fly

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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