Medi Harris, Freya Anderson Kick Off McCullagh Int’l With Solid Wins


Although there were several Olympians in the water for day one of the 2022 McCullagh International Meet in Ireland, performances were overall on the subdued side as racers got their 2022 calendar year underway.

Tom Dean, reigning Olympic champion in the men’s 200m free, produced a time 50.07 in the 100m free to claim bronze here in Bangor, for example. The 21-year-old’s lifetime best in this sprint rests at the 48.30 he put up at last year’s European Championships.

Taking the 2free event title here was domestic ace Jack McMillan who touched in 49.52, one of only two sub-50 second athletes of the field. Inserting himself between Dean and McMillan was Matt Richards, the 800m free relay gold medalist from Tokyo. Bath’s Richards posted 49.96 in his first race since late last year.

On the women’s, two-time European Short Course champion Freya Anderson made her mark, capturing the event in a result of 55.16. That held off Lucy Hope who snagged silver in 55.45 while Medi Harris rounded out the top 3 in 55.86. Olympic finalist Abbie Wood was also in the mix, posting 55.99 to fall just short of the podium.

Of note, Harris’ outing here marks her first time ever under the 56-second threshold. Entering this meet the Swansea swimmer had been as fast as 56.00 as of last December. As such, her performance shaved .014 off of that previous PB.

Harris had earlier taken on the women’s 50m back, topping the field in a mark of 27.79. That result sits just .10 outside of the Welsh athlete’s best-ever 26.69 from just last weekend at the British Universities & Colleges Championships (BUCS). Her 26.69 there in Sheffield rendered her as Great Britain’s 4th fastest woman all-time in the event.

Additional winners this evening included James Guy taking the 200m fly in 1:59.33 while Laura Stephens grabbed 200m fly gold in 2:10.10. James Wilby was another winner, hitting 1:00.62 in the men’s 100 breast while 18-year-old Katie Shanahan clocked 4:46.85 to win the women’s 400mIM.

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2 years ago

Also, Dan Jervis won the 800 Free in 7:49.95.

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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