Litchfield “Stuck To His Own Race Plan” En Route to 400 IM Gold


Sheffield’s Max Litchfield made his mark on the 2016 British Olympic Trials by running away with his first British National Title. Tonight he clocked a personal best time of 4:12.05 to claim gold in the men’s 400m IM event and also add his name to the rather short list of British swimmers who have met the strict Olympic-qualifying times laid out by the nation’s swimming federation.

Of his swim, Litchfield said in his post-race interview that he “stuck to his own race plan” and is “really pleased” with how his performance played out. He is still remaining focused, however, as he still has the 200m IM and 200m freestyle races on his agenda this week.

As originally reported by Loretta Race:


  • British National Record – Daniel Wallace – 4:11.04
  • British OLY Standard – 4:12.08
  • 2% Consideration – 4:13.71
  • The Podium –
    • Max Litchfield, 4:12.05 (*Automatic*)
    • Roberto Pavoni, 4:14.31
    • Dan Wallace, 4:18.11

Immediately after younger brother Joe Litchfield claimed the win in the night’s ‘Target Tokyo’ 400m IM final, Max Litchfield lit the pool on fire by storming to the wall in a British Olympic-qualifying time of 4:12.05 in the men’s open final edition of the same event.

By a super slim margin of just .03 of a second, Litchfield nabbed an Olympic berth with a personal best by almost 3 seconds, thrilling the crowd as he dominated down the stretch.  Even after Australia’s and Japan’s Olympic Trials have concluded, Litchfield’s time now ranks a the 3rd-fastest in the world this season, quite a confidence booster headed into his final months of training before Rio.

Loughborough’s Roberto Pavoni came in the silver spot tonight in a time of 4:14.31, while former University of Florida Gator, Dan Wallace, settled for bronze in a mark of 4:18.11.

Wallace is having a particularly rough meet, having already finished out of the final in the men’s 400m freestyle event. Now in this 400 IM, the 22-year-old finished well off his personal best of 4:11.04, the mark he earned in prelims in Glasgow en route to ultimately winning this event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Wallace was 4:13.07 as recently as Kazan, so tonight’s swim was discouraging.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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