Craig Benson, James Wilby and Ross Murdoch made light work of qualification on day four of the British Swimming Championships, all three men winning their heats to set up what is expected to be a thrilling showdown under the Friday night lights.
Murdoch already has two medals so far at this championships in the shorter breaststroke events, but has his eyes firmly fixed on gold, and a place on the World Championship team this evening. Likewise for Wilby, he’ll hope to reproduce the form that saw him win Commonwealth gold and European silver in 2018. The National Centre Loughborough swimmer won silver in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke on day one of these championships, going inside the consideration time for the Great Britain team, but will hope to book an automatic spot in his favoured event.
The other man who will hope to make an impact is Craig Benson, the two-time Olympian looking in good shape so far at this meet and having made the Olympic team in this event two years ago, he’s certainly one to watch. It was Murdoch who was comfortably quickest in the morning session though, afterwards commenting:
“It was good swim this morning, I’m happy with that. It was just about staying controlled this morning and getting a feel for the change in intensity. It’s going to be a good race tonight – Benson and Wilby are both capable of doing big drops tonight, so it’s all to play for.”
Freya Anderson produced an extremely mature, confident swim to go within two tenths of the Women’s 100m Freestyle consideration time as she booked the favoured line four for the final later today. Now 18 years of age, Anderson looked silky smooth to head the qualifiers by over half a second. 50m Freestyle champion Anna Hopkin also advanced and will take lane five, her front end speed impressive once again.
The Men’s 100m Butterfly saw last night’s British record breaker Duncan Scott drawn in the adjacent lane to James Guy, the current British record holder in this event, the pair going in the seventh and final heat. National Centre Bath’s Guy looked imperious however, moving into an early lead before having time to look right and then left in the last 25m to ensure he touched first. Afterwards he said:
“It was a good swim. I’ve realised from watching Duncan and Adam the last few days that putting a bit of pressure on in the heats gives you a feel for how you’re doing – sometimes if you go too slow it’s hard to get up for the evening final. I knew I was in control so I could just press when I needed to press. I thought if I had a good first 50m and had a reasonable underwater I could just do what I needed to do.”
After smashing his 100m Freestyle personal best to take silver last night, Scott McLay was at it again, as he went inside 53 seconds for the first time in his career to qualify second, with Lewis Fraser, Jacob Peter and Duncan Scott all advancing.
The fourth and final event of the morning was the heats of the Women’s 200m Backstroke, where another Bath swimmer, Jessica Fullalove, stopped the clock over half a second quicker than anyone else to book her final place. Chloe Golding also qualified from the penultimate heat, as did Kat Greenslade.
Youngsters Pia Murray, Honey Osrin and Katie Shanahan, 17, 16 and 15 respectively, all booked their places in the Open final as well, whilst 400m Individual Medley champion Aimee Willmott also advanced.
The live stream resumes at 6pm this evening in the Deep End Live studio, with the finals kicking off at 6.30pm. Head to the British Swimming Facebook and YouTube channels to ensure you don’t miss out.
If you’re up in Glasgow, a limited number of tickets are still available on the door at the venue.
For full results from today’s action please click here