O’Connor Breaks English Record in 200 IM, Brown Wins Men’s 100 Free at British Champs

Unlike the rest of the 8 national championship meets going on last week and through the weekend, the British Championships roll fully into a 2nd week, as they’ll finish on Tuesday.

There were only a couple of event finals on Sunday, but those few finals were highlighted by yet another English Record at this meet, coming from teenager Siobhan-Marie O’Connor.

Women’s 200 Backstroke – FINALS

Lauren Quigley has had some ups-and-downs this week, but she’ll come away with at least one event title after winning the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:09.79.

The young teenager Quigley had to be very tough to win this race, however. She swam far behind the country’s most veteran swimmer, fastest active swimmer, and second-fastest of all-time Lizzie Simmonds for the first 150 meters of this race.

But in the last 50 meters, Quigley split a solid 32.8, and Simmonds split a challenging 34.9, which means that not only did Quigley make up the meter-and-a-half deficit, she took another meter-and-a-half for a relatively comfortable win.

Simmonds really hasn’t looked herself since the 2012 Olympics in this 200 back; especially her last 50 meters. In fact, she hasn’t been better than 2:10 since, even though her first 150 this weekend looked better than she has in the last 18 months.

There were only two non-teenagers in this final, as the British youth movement in the backstrokes are just getting to their primes. 17-year old Jessica Fullalove swam a 2:12.66 for 3rd, and 17-year old Megan Briggs took 4th in 2:14.52.

Men’s 100 Free – FINALS

Coming out of the semi-finals, this men’s 100 free final, as deep as Britain has seen in some time, lined up to be a good one, and a good one it was.

James Disney-May took the turn first, with Ben Proud and Adam Brown in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

On the back-half, however, that order was exactly reversed, and the eldest of the three Brown came home to win in 49.35, followed by Proud (49.54) and Disney-May (49.71).

That’s probably not the swim that Brown wanted; he’s at the point of his career where he needs to start to be under 49 even at national championship meets like he was last year, but his front-half/back-half spread is about right where he’s been.

Brown and Disney-May represent Hatfield and Millfield, respectively, but both train in the United States at Auburn. Proud swims for the group at Plymouth Leander.

Women’s 200 IM – FINALS

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor continued through the best meet of her career by breaking the English Record in the women’s 200 IM final in 2:09.71. Her previous best time was a 2:10.35 in February, and the old English Record was a 2:10.23 from Sophie Allen done last year (Allen was 3rd in this race).

A comparison of where the 18-year old O’Connor beat Allen’s record and fell off of Hannah Miley’s British Record:

Miley’s British Record: 28.8 – 31.1 – 36.8 – 30.6 = 2:09.46
O’Connor’s English Record: 27.2– 30.5 – 38.1 – 31.9 = 2:09.71
Allen’s Old English Record: 28.6 – 33.1 – 36.7 – 31.7 = 2:10.23

As those splits show, despite breaststroke and freestyle being her best strokes, that’s where O’Connor would have to pick up ground to go by Miley’s record, as Miley is very, very good on the back-half of her IM’s (especially in the suit era).

Aimee Willmott went a lifetime best as well for 2nd in this race in 2:10.60, and the two record holders Allen (2:11.54) and Miley (2:11.99) were 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Sophie Smith took 5th in 2:13.30, and Danielle Lowe finished 6th in 2:14.32.

Men’s 50 Back – FINALS

The open portion of the program on Sunday wrapped with a pair of non-Olympic finals, beginning in the men’s 50 backstroke. For the 2nd-straight year, Chris Walker-Hebborn upended two-time World Champion in the event Liam Tancock.

This year’s difference was a 25.09 for Walker-Hebborn to a 25.38 for Tancock.

3rd-place went to Joe Patching (25.77) and in 4th was Marco Loughran (25.83). 5th place went to Andrew McGovern from Aberdeen in 25.91. This final came out almost identically to the semi-final, with the exception that Rory Lamont (25.94) jumped up from the 8th seed to finish 6th.

Women’s 50 Fly – FINALS

Fran Halsall got her 2nd national title of the week with a 25.83 in the women’s 50 fly, which gave her an easy win over teammates Amy Smith (26.41) and Rachael Kelly (26.57). All three represent Loughborough University, and nobody really challenged them.

That swim improves upon Halsall’s previous season best of 25.88 from the semi-finals, but leaves her 3rd in the world this year.


  • In the women’s 100 Free semi-final, swum well before her 50 fly final, Fran Halsall took the top seed by over nine-tenths of a second with a 54.29. Swimming out of two differente semis, Rebecca Turner and Jessica Llolyd are tied for 2nd in 55.24.
  • A less-familiar tops the tables after the men’s 100 fly semi-finals: Thomas Laxton swam a 52.95 for the number one seed, followed by Adam Barrett (53.08) and Joe Roebuck (53.29). James Guy, the middle-distance star, made a bonus appearance for 4th in this semi in 53.32, and Antony James is 5th in 53.45.
  • Sophie Taylor continued her hot week by taking the top seed in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a 1:08.17. Scotland’s Corrie Scott is 2nd in 1:08.89 and Molly Renshaw is the 3rd seed in 1:09.22.

Full, live meet results available here.

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50 24
10 years ago


bobo gigi
10 years ago
10 years ago

It’s extremely odd that SMO only split 31.9 free leg, despite swimming 1:56 in 200 free few days ago. She probably paid for the ridiculously fast first 100.

Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

Yes, she did – She said openly she doesn’t know how to swim an IM yet, but she knows she can go faster with the right pacing. Exciting prospect. Small point, Lizzie Simmonds was 2.08 less than a month ago in Berlin, not sure what has happened to her, seems to crumble at trials which is worrying.

bobo gigi
10 years ago

The meet goes from Thursday to Tuesday?
The British do definitely nothing like any others! 😆

Great performance for SMO in the 200 IM.
She has 2 years until Rio to continue to improve her back-half.

10 years ago

I was astounded by Siobhan’s 100m split, it was ridiculously fast. Her 50m split was only .1 down on her split when she set her 100m fly PB. Safe to say, as she admitted in the post race interview, she is still learning how to swim the IM. Her splits indicate she can go faster than that if she gets it right, Coutts versus O’Connor will be intriguing.

Sophie Taylor looks a very powerful girl, only back into training in January after an operation in December, says she wasn’t sure how she’d swim at trials as she lost a chunk of winter training but she’s done fantastically – Can only see her getting faster and faster… 30./1.06./2.23. by Commies,… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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