On Day 1 from the 2011 British Gas ASA National Championships, which serves to complete the qualifications for the World Championships in Shanghai this summer, there were a slew of top-10, and season-best, swims posted by British swimmers. They carried that momentum into day 2, where they again lit up the pool. Most of the British roster spots were sealed up at their World Championship Trials in March, but some are still up for grabs at this meet. Read the day 1 recap for details.
Fran Halsall took out her frustrations of missing a spot in the 100 fly by just .01 seconds on the first day of competition in the women’s 100 free. She blasted a 53.61 in prelims, which moves her ahead of Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk for the fastest time in the world this year. That mark is about even with her gold-medal time from the European Championships last year, and about a second-and-a-half faster than her time from March’s World Championship Trials, where she already earned a spot in Shanghai.
The winner of this meet’s final was Amy Smith in 55.27, which just missed giving her a FINA A time, and the event’s second individual spot, by .03 seconds. Smith did clear the FINA A standard at the Trials, where she finished 2nd, so there’s still an opportunity for the National Team Coach and Director to use their discretion to give her the spot at World’s.
Robbie Renwick became the meet’s first double-winner when he topped the 200 free in 1:47.46. That time moves him to 10th in the world, as the fastest Brit, and ensures him at least a second individual swim at the World Championships. Just like in the 400 free, the runner-up to Renwick was David Carry (1:49.48), but unlike the 400 Carry will not be moving on to compete in Shanghai. The Scot will instead be joined in the 200 free by Ross Davenport, who won the race at trials.
Chris Walker-Hebborn had a disappointing swim to finish 3rd at the World’s Trials in march in the men’s 200 back, but after a great win at the Barcelona Mare Nostrum stop last week, he lined himself up to post a big mark here. His 1:57.60 win is his best of the season and ties him with Michael Phelps for 6th in the world this year. Walker-Hebborn will join James Goddard, ranked just ahead at 5th in the world, in Shanghai in this race.
In the men’s 100 fly, Anthony James took the win in a big-time swim of 52.13 that pushes him to 7th in the world. He will join Trials winner and National Record holder Michael Rock in that race. Rock is in attendance at this meet – he won the 200 fly on day 1 – but chose not to swim this race. Simon Burnett finished 2nd in 53.04
Stacey Tadd won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:27.37, which is a career-best time for her and breaks her own English (not British) National Record, which she set last week at the Mare Nostrum in Barcelona at 2:27.93. Also under the old English record was 14-year old Molly Renshaw, in 2:27.67. As a sign of the weakness of British breaststroking, despite having two swimmers break the English record, they don’t have a single 200 breaststroker in the top 25 in the world. Scottish swimmer Hannah Miley, who is the current British Short Course Record holder, placed 3rd in 2:28.95.
The best swim of the day came in a race that doesn’t even count for World Championships qualifying: the 50 back. There, Georgia Davies swam the world’s 3rd-fastest time this year: 27.96. For Davies, this is a career-best time, though unfortunately she won’t compete for a medal in the event at World’s (barring a change of course from the National Team Director Michael Scott). Both spots in the 100 backstroke – competed yesterday – have already been claimed.
Full (and live) results for the whole meet are available here.