Oliver Morgan’s 100 Back BUCS Victory Solidifies Him As Bonafide British Threat

2024 BUCS LONG COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS

While day two of the 2024 British Universities & Colleges Long Course Championships is unfolding tonight in Sheffield, a notable swim went under the radar on night one of the annual event.

Racing in the men’s 100m backstroke final, Oliver Morgan crushed a near-lifetime best of 53.31 to take the gold medal for Birmingham last night.

The 21-year-old rising star opened in 25.93 and closed in 27.38 to comfortably defeat the field, with Loughborough’s Conor Ferguson snagging silver in 54.03 while Edinburgh’s Scott gibson rounded out the podium in 56.07.

Morgan has been as fast as 53.26 in his young career, a time he registered at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka to place 9th and become Great Britain’s 3rd-quickest performer of all time in the event.

Had he been present and performed a time of 53.31 in Doha at this year’s World Championships, Morgan would have returned with the bronze medal in the event.

The British Swimming Championships are on the calendar for April, marking the sole qualification opportunity for the nation’s swimmers to earn Olympic berths for the Paris 2024 Games.

The minimum time standard for the men’s 100m back, as set by British Swimming, rests at 53.68, a time Morgan has now beaten on multiple occasions.

In terms of other British swimmers possibly representing barriers to Morgan’s finishing in the top 2, Olympic medalist Luke Greenbank, U23 Championships gold medalist Jonathon Adam and World Championships relay medalist Joe Litchfield all check in among the list.

A potential dark horse is also emerging in the form of Jonny Marshall. Although Marshall owns a long course 100 back personal best of 54.36, outside the Olympic QT, he recently made some noise in the short course yards arena.

As a Florida Gator, Marshall became the fastest-ever 100y backstroker in history. At the SEC Championships, Marshall turned in a time of 44.36, dropping over a second from his previous 45.57 PB.

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Graham Wardell
1 month ago

Led out his uni relay team in 53.3 tonight . . .

Scuncan Dott v2
1 month ago

That is so promising from Oli. For context, he was only 55.1 one month out from trials last year before going 53.7. 52 is definitely possible at trials.

Brit swim fan
1 month ago

Could GB be an outside threat to the medley relay in Paris?

They now have faster backstroke and freestyle legs compared to the team that won silver and still have Peaty and Guy kicking around on the middle legs.

DK99
Reply to  Brit swim fan
1 month ago

Based off of what I’d predict they’d go

Morgan – 53.02
Peaty – 58.35
Guy – 50.72
Richards/Dean 46.74

Ends up being 3:28.83 so in the mix for the minor medals but you’d have to think China and America could go much quicker, plus Italy and Australia have less depth but more standout guys who could do better extravagant splits.

Brit swim fan
Reply to  DK99
1 month ago

Interesting take. I would assume that Morgan could go sub 53 in Paris if he is swimming 53:30s unrested in Feb.

I would also assume Peaty could be in the 57s on a relay split come Paris if he is going 58:60 untapered in Feb from a flat start.

DK99
Reply to  Brit swim fan
1 month ago

I factored him possibly having swum 3 100 backs and 3 200 backs over the Meet, plus maybe the heat as well

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  DK99
1 month ago

I really don’t see Dean being our number 2 100 Freestyler over Scott and Whittle, let alone going 46.74.

DK99
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
1 month ago

Was 46.6 in 2022, its in the realm of possibility, plus he’s basically 4 for 4 in doing incredible anchor leg swims so I’d back him

Swimm
Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
1 month ago

He would have to be for his 5 medal mission would he not?

Scuncan Dott V2
Reply to  Swimm
1 month ago

First he’d have to medal in the 2IM and with Shun Wang, Marchand and Scott there I don’t see him medaling.

Sub13
Reply to  Brit swim fan
1 month ago

For a medal? Sure. For gold? No.

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Brit swim fan
1 month ago

Depends on if Peaty’s back to 57. (at least) in Paris

Last edited 1 month ago by Scuncan Dott v2
Togger
1 month ago

Morgan and Marshall both exciting prospects in backstroke.

Marshall’s an exciting one, feels like forever we’ve been watching British backstrokers get slaughtered on the turns by NCAA swimmers and alumni, great to see one of our backstrokers over there now (who was the last? Joe Patching maybe?) and crushing it.

Dee
1 month ago

The mens 100bk is very strong at the minute, but Oli is really on a roll and you’d be a brave man to look at his progression and entirely rule him out of being an outside factor in Paris.

Very fast BUCS overall so far; 1.07.1 missed the podium in the women’s 100br, an event won by Angharad Evans in yet another huge PB (1.06.6). Honey Osrin went 2.08 in the 200bk to defeat Shanahan. Wiffen 7.43/14.42 distance double.

Swimm
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Shanahan was a big concern today looks way out of sorts.

Ldn
Reply to  Swimm
1 month ago

She swam the 4im final against the world champion just before the 2bc final against Osrin’s big PB performance…I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt as today was about the team as well, but doing the 2im and 2 back double in Paris and our trials looks less likely now…

Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Swimm
1 month ago

Wasn’t too impressive at Euro SC either, slightly worrying.

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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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