2022 BRITISH SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
We’re nearly halfway through the British Swimming Championships already, with today marking a huge sprint day for those vying for World Championships and Commonwealth Games roster spots.
The women’s 50m free was on this morning’s heats’ agenda, as was the men’s 100m free, while the women’s 200m fly and men’s 400m IM/1500m free were also on the schedule.
Women’s 50m Freestyle Top 8
Right off the bat, we saw Anna Hopkin roared to the wall first in the women’s 50m free, clocking the only sub-25 second time of the field
Reaching the time pad in 24.95, the former Arkansas Razorback landed lane 4 and will be flanked by Yale’s/Brompton’s Isabella Hindley and Evelyn Davis of Bromley. Hindley stopped the clocked in 25.51 while Davis, just 17 years of age, sneaked in for 25.64 and the 3rd seed.
Hopkin ranks as GBR’s #2 swimmer of all time in this event, owning a lifetime best of 24.34 to sit only behind national record holder Fran Halsall and her mark of 23.96 from 2014.
As for Hindley and Davis, they own PBs of 25.13 and 25.27, respectively, so they’ll need to have the race of their lives to get near the British Swimming-mandated qualification standard of 24.35.
Men’s 400m IM Top 8
Duncan Scott, the most decorated Scottish Olympic athlete, checked in with a solid 4:17.51 to lead the men’s 400m IM by over 4 seconds.
That’s within striking distance of his newly-minted lifetime best, a time of 4:15.44 he notched just last month in Edinburgh.
Entering that meet, versatile Scott’s lifetime best rested at the 4:20.39 he registered at the 2019 British Universities & Colleges (BUCS) Championships. As such, Scott hacked nearly 5 solid seconds off of that previous outing to rank as Great Britain’s 10th fastest man ever in this LCM 400 IM event.
Women’s 200m Fly Top 8
Loughborough’s fly ace Laura Stephens threw down a statement swim with the only sub-2:10 result of the field.
Splitting 1:02.01/1:07.69, Stephens clinched lane 4 ahead of Scottish national record holder Keanna Macinnes who hit 2:11.17 while mid-distance freestyler Holly Hibbott notched a time of 2:12.52 as the 3rd fastest swimmer of the morning.
Stephens has been as fast as 2:07.04 to rank as Great Britain’s 4th fastest swimmer of all time in this event, a time she’ll need to get near to hit the 2:07.91 GBR qualification standard.
Men’s 100m Free Top 8
No one held back in the heats of the men’s 100m free, as the top 3 swimmers already dove under the 49-second mark to open the event.
Firing off a monster 48.15, former University of South Carolina swimmer Lewis Burras scorched a new lifetime best.
The 21-year-old opened in 22.70 and closed in 25.45 to knock .30 off of his previous career-quickest time of 48.45. That mark was registered just recently while competing at the aforementioned Edinburgh International Swim Meet.
Burras, who is coached by former World Record holder Zoe Baker, has been on the upswing since under her tutelage as of his comeback in June of last year. Already at a local meet in December, the man put up his quickest 50m free time to date, a mark of 21.79 which rendered him as GBR’s 2nd fastest performer in history.
His 48.15 now ranks him as the #3 swimmer in history for Great Britain in the men’s 100m free.
British Men’s All-Time Top 100m Freestyle Performers
Duncan Scott, 47.87 2019
Jacob Whittle, 48.11 2021
Lewis Burras, 48.15 2022
Simon Burnett, 48.20 2008
Matt Richards, 48.23 2021
But Burras doesn’t have the win in the bag, as he’ll be competing against a host of Olympians in Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards, Tom Dean and more.
At just 17 years of age, Whittle produced a morning swim of 48.36, a mark within .25 of his own personal best and English national record. Dean was also super strong, with the reigning 200m free Olympic gold medalist hitting 48.57 to sit within .27 of his 48.30 lifetime best.
In the meantime, Burras once again tops the men’s overall world rankings for 2022 in this event, giving him a big confidence boost in his quest for World Championships qualification.