Whittle Proves Sub-50 Was No Fluke With Another 49.97; Shanahan Hits Age Record


The teen machines of Great Britain pumped out some solid performances on night 2 of the European Youth Olympic Festival, with the nation now leading the overall medal table.

15-year-old Katie Shanahan of the City of Glasgow produced her 2nd gold medal-worthy swim of the competition thus far. After taking the 400m IM yesterday in a near-personal best of 4:43.92, a new EYOF Record, Shanahan tried the 200m back on for size in Baku.

She wound up reaping gold once again in a new EYOF mark of 2:11.20. That took down the previous 2back EYOF Record of 2:11.57 set by Russian Daria Vaschina in 2017. Shanahan’s time also outperformed this year’s European Junior Champion Erika Fransesca Gaetani of Italy, who had to settle for silver in 2:12.03 tonight.

Additionally, Shanahan’s outing tonight crushes the teen’s previous personal best of 2:13.68 registered just this year at the British Swimming Championships. Her time establishes new British and Scottish Age Records for 15-year-olds in the 200m back, as well as moves the City of Glasgow swimmer into the 21st slot among all-time British performers at any age.

Accompanying Shanahan on the British Age Record-breaking train was 14-year-old Jacob Whittle of Derventio Excel. Whittle already made a name for himself at the European Junior Championships just a couple of weeks ago, producing the first-ever sub-50 second 100m freestyle for a swimmer of his age worldwide.

In this morning’s heats of the 100m freestyle, Whittle tied that same mark for 49.97 and the top seed into tonight’s semi-finals, where he touched the wall in 50.20 for 2nd seed.

Comparing his 49.97 from today versus what he produced in Kazan, Whittle approached the 2-lap affair a little differently this time around. Back in Kazan Whittle opened in 24.47, while he was 24.67 this morning, which meant he was faster on the back-end here.

Whittle still has tomorrow night’s final to do more damage in the 100m free, as well as other events, with action extending through Friday.

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The Real Sam
2 years ago

He really just closed in a 25.3… This cant be real.

Daniel Carr
Reply to  The Real Sam
2 years ago

Swam against him in a relay in a club friendly gala about 3 months ago and the kid is huge for a 14 year old, built like a 19-20 year old, he was 5 body lengths in front at the turn on a 50, I was just glad he didn’t do the fly, 44 year old vs a 14 year old would have been embarrassing, not that it wasn’t anyway 😂

Reply to  Daniel Carr
2 years ago

He’s really tall, but he hasn’t got the musculature of a 19-20 year old. Compare him to a 15 year old Chalmers, who was already 6’2 of defined muscle, and he’s still got some developing to do. Scary.

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

I agree, a couple of things struck me about him. Firstly his height, obviously. Secondly the size of his hands, they were like spades slapping the water with each stroke when I watched him swim. I think his naturally large physique gives the impression he has the build of an older lad, but there’s not much muscle mass on him at all. Mix all that up with his very raw technique, and already being under 50s, and I think he is a *very* rare talent.

2 years ago

Just insane

2 years ago

14 yr old closes his 100 free in 25.3. Some experienced international swimmers close slower than that…

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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