British butterflier Ellen Gandy briefly held the top spot in the World Rankings of the 100 fly earlier today. But that was purely on the basis of time zones, as she lives, trains, and is competing in Australia this weekend.
The reaction from the home shores of Great Britain was swift and powerful on the 2nd day of the British University and College Sports Championships in Sheffield. Fran Halsall put up a 57.67. That stands as the best time in the world, the 4th-best time of her career. Considering that she was a 1:01 at this meet last year, this swim is very exciting.
Meanwhile, another world-best time came down from Lizzie Simmonds in 2:07.92. She was fantastic late last year in short course (breaking the European Record) and continues that trend here in long course. This swim is already much faster than she was at Worlds last season.
Last season, both swimmers saved their season-best swims for the 2nd leg of Worlds qualifying, which was not until June. This year, it seems as though they’re all preparing to knock their qualifying out at the first round in March, given the relative “flop” that most saw in Shanghai.
Halsall would tack on a 24.95 in the 50 free. Both swimmers scratched the finals.
The meet also had at least one very interesting swim from a “futures” perspective. 19-year old Callum Jarvis out of Bath won the men’s 200 free in 1:51.83. In the last two months, he’s chopped almost 4 seconds off of his lifetime best in this race.