The HardCoreSwim of the week goes to Aimee Wilmott from the UK for her record-breaking performance at last weekend’s Speedo Flanders Cup in Belgium.
In reality, this is an honor in recognition of the accomplishments of all of the British team, who rewrote English and British Record books over the weekend (both senior and age group): a team performance that flew pretty well under the radar.
Willmott’s specific impressive swim was the 400 IM, where she swam a 4:33.64, which is a new personal best in long course for her and broke her own English Record from December, 2013 by 1.3 seconds.
Willmott has been building herself into the elite international lexicon since about 2011, when she was just 18 years old. Every time she takes a leap forward, though, she doesn’t go into a pattern of just inching forward: she explodes again with another leap. She dropped three seconds off of her best in long course in 2011, another second in 2012, another three seconds in 2013, and now another second in 2014, and she hasn’t even hit a championship meet yet.
Willmott also took a win at the meet in 2:10.87 in the 200 IM.
Other record-breakers include Molly Renshaw, who broke the English Record in the 200 breast (2:26.38), and Georgia Davies who broke the British 50 back record (27.80).
In 2008 and 2009, when the Brits were a big swimming superpower, they were lead by a powerful and vibrant women’s group. In 2014, they are headed back in that direction, and although not as obvious in Belgium (a few age group records went down), the men seem better prepared to join them in Rio.
Combine that with Paralympic success, and swimming is once again exciting in Blighty.
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