Stephens & Kurle Notch Tokyo Qualification Times In Glasgow Finals

2021 BRITISH SWIMMING GLASGOW MEET

The second finals session of this British Swimming Glasgow Meet concluded today, with two swimmers, in particular, shining brightly in a last-chance attempt to be named to the nation’s Olympic roster for Tokyo.

We detailed last night how Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens was already hot on the trail of a 200m fly Olympic nomination by way of her head-turning 2:07.04 prelims performance. That not only sliced over half a second off of her previous lifetime best of 2:07.62, but it easily cleared the 2:08.32 British Swimming-mandated qualification time for Tokyo.

Needing to replicate that type of performance in the final for consideration, Stephens got the job done, ultimately taking the 2fly title this morning in Glasgow with a result of 2:08.15. Once again getting under the qualification standard, Stephens lead a 1-2 punch with already-qualified Commonwealth Games champion Alys Thomas. Thomas took silver this morning in 2:09.44.

The other swimmer making his mark in a big way was Cameron Kurle, the 2016 Olympian who threw down a lifetime best in the 200m free prelims last night. He fired off a time of 1:46.62, which marked the first time the 23-year-old University of Stirling swimmer had ever been under the 1:47 threshold.

Come this morning’s final, Kurle fell to 4th but still dipped under the British Swimming-mandated QT of 1:46.99 needed for the Olympic Games. Kurle stopped the clock in 1:46.90 to finish behind winner Duncan Scott (1:46.02), runner-up Tom Dean (1:46.46) and James Guy (1:46.49).

As for Kurle’s chances of being selected for the Olympic Games as a potential 800m free relay squad member, the British roster for Tokyo already includes 200m freestyle aces Dean, Guy, Scott, Matt Richards and Calum JarvisWith his Olympic squad history and the fact that British Swimming has been known to used its discretionary power as it sees fit, his chances remain.

Also of note in that 200m free final this morning was the fact that 16-year-old Jacob Whittle established a new English Age Record with his 6th place effort of 1:48.10.

Abbie Wood was successful in taking the women’s 400m IM crown, doubling up on the 200m IM event she won earlier in the meet. This morning, Loughborough’s Wood got to the wall in a mark of 4:39.96, adding some time from her 4:38.20 prelims effort from last night.

Her result was still enough to keep 3-time Olympian Hannah Miley at bay, with Miley snagging silver in 4:44.00.

The men’s IM event this morning was the 400m distance, with already-qualified Max Litchfield making his presence known with a solid 4:12.81. Litchfield is the newly-minted European Championships bronze medalist in this event, having earned a time of 4:11.56 in Budapest.

Always impressive Adam Peaty was once again in a class by himself in the men’s 100m breast, hitting a huge-time-for-anyone-else of 58.22. The man put up the only sub-minute result of the field this morning.

Additional Swims

  • The men’s 800m free saw Daniel Jervis get it done for gold in 7:52.60.
  • Two women got into the 1:07 zone in the 100m breast, with Molly Renshaw taking gold in 1:07.45 to Sarah Vasey‘s runner-up clocking of 1:07.55.
  • Lucy Hope led the women’s 200m freestyle, topping Freya Anderson in 1:58.78 to the latter’s 1:59.26.
  • Backstroke ace Kathleen Dawson collected 50m back gold in 27.64 while Martyn Walton took the men’s top prize in 25.62.

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Dee
3 months ago

A big call for selectors to make RE Kurle now. My personal opinion is that, with 4 men at 1.47.3 or better already on the team, adding another relay only swimmer looks more risk than reward and for that reason I’d leave Kurle at home, as harsh as that call would be. Jacob Whittle starting to get the hang of 200s now, and within a second of Richards’ age group record – Huge potential as a 100/200 swimmer.

Have to give Hannah Miley a shoutout too – It’s going to feel very odd seeing a British Olympic team without her on it. British swimming couldn’t have asked for a better flag-bearer over the past decade, a legend of British and… Read more »

SwimSider
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

You 100% take Kurle. He is 6th fastest, by a good margin and has the experience of swimming the even at a high level(World/European/Commonwealth).

There are no guarantees on the form of Richards, who has one outlying performance or indeed the others for that matter. You swim Kurle, Richards, Jarvis, Dean or Guy in the heat to judge the best 2 from3 to do a job in the evening.

Hannah absolutely is a star of the sport, great role model of consistency in a fairly non fashionable event!

Dee
Reply to  SwimSider
3 months ago

“One outlying performance” – He is 18 and has had one tapered meet since he was 16. He has also always been a big taper swimmer; Hadn’t broken 1.49 when he went 1.47.2 for example. His form at nationals was clear – 48.2 in the 100, an 1.46 in the 200 heats backed up with his 1.45 in finals, and two solid 1.46 legs at Euros. His swim today was his fastest ever untapered time. I don’t think it’s fair to pick at his form. Same for the other boys – Best times at this time of the season for Scott, Dean & Guy today – All look to be in flying form and I think they’re beyond question.

Cal… Read more »

SwimSider
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

You seem to have selectively jumped on my ‘outlying performance’ comment. Matt was also 1’50 in his individual 200Fr in Budapest. Super talent, and not saying he should not swim the event, in fact I had him in the heat team I presented.

To suggest you can place Joe L in the heat is far more of a risk than selecting Kurle + using him. As, like I said he is faster(by 0.4) and this is the Olympics we are talking about and has more experience. He is also getting faster.

How do you know that either Litchfield did not taper for Budapest and perhaps carried on to Glasgow? They are almost as quick as they were at the Trials.… Read more »

Dee
Reply to  SwimSider
3 months ago

I didn’t jump on it, I just explained why, in my opinion, you’re wrong to question his form. He swam 1.46 twice the day before his 1.50; That, not his trials swim, is clearly the outlier for me.

So, your ideal heats team would be two swimmers who hadn’t yet raced at the meet, and therefore we’d have little idea of how they’re swimming, and an 18 year old who has 100fr heats in the same session? That’s exactly why I feel adding Kurle would bring a bit of unnecessary risk.

There are fair arguments each way in my opinion – We’ll just have to wait and see now.

SwimSider
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

Heaven forbid at some point an athlete races for the first time at a competition.

I didn’t question his form, I suggested there were no guarantees of it being ‘as good’ in Tokyo, along with the others.

Are you suggesting you would only swim Richards in the final?

As you say, we will see.

Dee
Reply to  SwimSider
3 months ago

We have a chance to make history in the 4×2. I’m suggesting that two unraced swimmers and an 18 year old doubling up in the session might not be the best heat strategy. I think it’s a fair position to take, if you disagree so be it, but no need for the sarky response.

SwimSider
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

So Richards can’t double up and two ‘unraced’ swimmers is a risk. There goes that chance of history.

Skippy
Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

Somewhat disagree,I would also say KURLE has earned his swim
Three meets to obtain a time, seems he was determined to obtain it. Agree both Litchfields capable and have been chosen over Kurle by the Head Coach and PD
Will not be difficult to make the final from a choice of eight swimmers!
Don’t see GB taking the gold in this one though

Sapnu puas
Reply to  SwimSider
3 months ago

Yeah I think we should take Kurle, he’s done a decent time and did the job in the heats at worlds.

Richards will have 100m free heats in the same session though, considering we have a lot of talent seems like we should rest him in the heats.

Think we’ll be able to tell his form from the 100 free relay and he seems to be quite a big taper swimmer so wouldn’t be surprised to see him around his trials time (or quicker)!

Jarvis, Joe Litchfield, Dean, Kurle could work for heats I think (assuming Dean doesn’t replace Scott in 100 free))

Last edited 3 months ago by Sapnu puas
AvidSwimFan
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

I agree with SwimSider here. I would take Kurle if I was making the decision. There’s a reason top 6 finishers at the US swim trials go to the big meets. Every swim the top 2 don’t have to swim, increases their medal chances both individually and on the relay. Plus you never truly know who is going to peak at the big meet.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
3 months ago

I think it’s almost certain that Scott and Dean will both be rested in 4×200 free heats. Jarvis, Richards, Guy and J. Litchfield as a heats team. The point Dee is making is that if you pick Kurle, both him and Jarvis have to swim heats. So there’s less flexibility, for limited gain (Kurle is 0.4 faster than Joe Litchfield). I would certainly feel for Kurle if they don’t pick him.

Good swims all round here: Scott, Dean and Guy will all be pretty pleased with those times, and a nice swim by Whittle too. Looks like more of a 100/200 swimmer than a 50/100 to me, so hopefully his 200 can keep improving.

Stephens now almost certain to go.… Read more »

Sapnu puas
Reply to  Thomas Selig
3 months ago

Think they should rest Guy over Dean tbh. This will be Dean’s last event and Guy will have butterfly and other relays still to come. Put Dean on anchor and he can judge how hard he has to go

Iain
Reply to  Sapnu puas
3 months ago

Richards will have the 100 free in the same session, so should probably be rested.

Ideally you would rest 3 people (Scott, Richards, probably Dean), which feels risky.

However, adding up the flat times of Guy, Jarvis, Litchfield and Kurle gets you a 7:06, which is still quicker than every other nation this year except Russia (granted probably 4th after US and Aussie trials). Their flat times are also faster than every nation at Euros except Russia and Italy.

So basically what I’m saying is I would take Kurle and rest 3 in the heats – there’s actually a fair bit of leeway for that team to make it into the final, even with an off day for someone.

SwimSider
Reply to  Iain
3 months ago

Say Scott does not swim 100Fr, will Tom Dean then do so?

Skippy
Reply to  Iain
3 months ago

Kurle prob not selected but gets the consideration time. The selectors made that clear in the europeans by swimming litchfield
Personally I would take the six fastest, feel for Kurle as the same selectors clearly didn’t want him to swim at Rio
Don’t see Richards swimming as fast especially with six days of self isolation being chucked into the mix in Tokyo

nuotofan
3 months ago

It could be just a suggestion, but there are many similarities between Scott’s results in this season and those swum by the great Yannick Agnel in 2012. At French trials (March 2012) Agnel swam 1.44.42 to qualify for London Olympics, at British trials (April 2021) Scott swam 1.44.47 to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. The second best result from Agnel in that 2012 before Olympics was 1.45.24; the second best result from Scott in this season, before Tokyo Olympics, was 1.45.19 (Euro Champs). In early July 2012 Agnel swam 1.46.09 (Paris meeting), now Scott has swum 1.46.02 at this Glasgow meet. Obviously I don’t know if Scott, at Tokyo, will swim near the fantastic 1.43.14 Agnel achieved at London 2012, but… Read more »

SwimSider
Reply to  nuotofan
3 months ago

1’43.1 and we will all salute the man

John26
3 months ago

When do you think we’ll know if Duncan plans on swimming the 100free in Tokyo? Presumably Tom Dean will take that spot.

SwimSider
Reply to  John26
3 months ago

Yes I asked this

Skippy
Reply to  John26
3 months ago

100% he will not swim the 100

Jamie5678
3 months ago

The safer option is really not to take Kurle. If Kurle goes GB are locked into him and Jarvis swimming the heat when I think they’d prefer to have the option to choose the Litchfields rather than be locked into Kurle.

It is possible however that I may be over-thinking it!

LAWolf
Reply to  Jamie5678
2 months ago

You are absolutely correct the Litchfileds will swim the heats
What is being missed is that in the heats in the worlds Lichfield was not at his best
Hypothetical of course but if KURLE had swam faster than Jarvis in the trials there was still no seat for him on the plane
Latent !!! by the selectors

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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