On the final day of competition, only a single World Championship roster spot was handed out. But as competition wound down, the British butterfliers again put on a memorable show for the crowd in Sheffield.
For an explanation of how the British qualifying works, see the first paragraph of our day 1 recap.
In the women’s 200 fly, Jemma Lowe took the win in 2:05.36. She had already qualified for the World Championships in this race, but this swim made a big-time statement and moved her ahead of Ellen Gandy as the fastest Brit in this event this year. This race piggy-backs on her 100 butterfly from day 1, where she also posted a spectacular time.
Her swim is a career-best time for her, which means that she also smashed her own Welsh Record that she set back in 2008 by more than a second. More importantly, it moves her to 3rd in the world rankings, and makes her the only swimmer in the world who has been able to even maintain contact with the 2:04-mid’s posted by the Chinese pair Liu Zige and Jiao Liuyang.
Lowe wasn’t the only swimmer to post a top-5 time on the last day of competition. Kristopher Gilchrist won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:10.16, which moves him to 5th in the world rankings. Unlike Lowe, however, Gilchrist won’t get a chance to better that time in Shanghai as both of the men’s 200 breaststroke spots were claimed by Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis at Trials in March. Gilchrist did, however, earn a spot in the 100 breaststroke earlier in this meet.
Simon Burnett will be the UK’s only representative in the men’s 100 free in Shanghai as a result of his win today in 49.09. That’s well ahead of where he was at this point last year (when he competed in Santa Clara on this same weekend), which puts a World Championship final within reach. It still appears, though, that the 50 is going to be his big focus for this summer. This is a big shift from earlier in his career where the 50 was just an afterthought to the 100 and 200: the latter of which he has all-but-abandoned.
Grant Turner took 2nd in 49.32, which missed by no more than a touch the FINA A standard that would’ve taken him to Shanghai. In a continuation of his very successful meet, Robbie Renwick (who won the 200 and 400) took 3rd in 49.53. For Renwick, that time is a career-best and stands as a new Scottish Record. All of a sudden, my darkhorse pick of Renwick to place highly in the men’s 400 free for London seems to be picking up a little bit of steam.
Rebecca Adlington won the women’s 400 free in 4:08.32. That’s about right where she needs to be for this time of year, though she looked better in her 800 win earlier in the week. That probably speaks to the point of her season that she’s in, where she’s likely just coming out of a high-volume phase.
Xavier Mohammed took the men’s 200 IM in 2:01.09, which is easily his best time of the season and nearly the best time of his career. He dominated the first three legs on this race, but faltered a little on the freestyle to miss a chance to move into the top 30 in the world this year.
17-year old Anne Bochman took the women’s 400 IM in 4:47.00. That’s a pretty good time considering that she only recently returned from a back injury that kept her out of the Trials in March. She is only a few weeks back in the water after several months out, and so has put her sights squarely on next year’s Olympic Trials, where she will face a stiff field in her best event: the 400 free. It was an interesting decision on her part to compete this 400 IM on the final day rather than challenge Adlington in the 400 free, where she was 4th at last year’s Commonwealth Games. This is especially unusual given that she’s been focusing her training almost exclusively on the freestyle of late, though perhaps this swim was more of a test of her back in the medleys than anything else.
Hannah Miley was the fastest swimmer in the 400 IM in 4:41.57, but scratched the final. That’s well off of her 3rd-ranked time of 3:35.
USC swimmer Richard Charlesworth won the men’s 1500 in 15:30.75. While that time is well off of the FINA A-standard, it’s still a great mark for him at this time of the season.
Jack Marriott won the men’s 50 fly in 24.35.