Brits secure further final places on last morning of Glasgow 2019

8 Dec 2019

The British team set up yet more medal chances on Sunday morning at Tollcross, as the European Short Course Swimming Championships nears its conclusion.

A quality quartet ensured Great Britain will be represented in the penultimate event of the championships, the Women’s 4x50m Medley Relay, and qualifying third fastest they’ll hope to give the home crowd something to shout about.

Having already won a bronze medal this week in her individual event, Georgia Davies swam a strong opening 50m backstroke, before youngster Kayla Van Der Merwe kept the team in the mix. Medley medallist last night Siobhan-Marie O’Connor returned to the water for the butterfly leg before Anna Hopkin brought it home on the freestyle to see the team into the final.

Earlier in the session both Hopkin and Freya Anderson made it safely through to the next round of the Women’s 50m Freestyle, Hopkin in particular impressing as she won her heat to advance second quickest.

There were seven heats of the Men’s 50m Backstroke, with Joe Litchfield drawn in the very first of these, given his lack of entry time. That didn’t faze him though as he set yet another PB to win by a country mile; fast forward six races and he would qualify for the semi-finals fourth fastest. Also in action were Luke Greenbank, Brodie Williams and Nick Pyle, none of that trio quite able to do enough to make it back.

Of his swim, Litchfield said:

“I knew I had a 23 in me but I didn’t know I had a 23.3 in me! It just shows I’m in good shape in terms of my underwaters and speed, and I’ve backed it up in the fly with a swim that’s right on my PB. Now I’ve got to come in later in the 50 Back and the 100 IM and give it everything for the team. Hopefully we can show people that Britain are here.”

Speaking of that Men’s 200m Butterfly, James Guy made sure he’ll have a chance to contest for medals in tonight’s final thanks to a measured swim, second in his heat.

“That felt a bit rough! It’s hard getting back up in the morning after having two days off, but it’s job done. It felt hard but controlled, so hopefully I can do a bit more tonight.”

The Litchfield brothers, Joe and Max, were also in action, both producing solid swims, but not quite able to make the top eight required for a final place.

The Women’s 200m Breaststroke also took on the heats and final format, so both Molly Renshaw and Kayla Van Der Merwe knew it would take a good swim to make the top eight. Renshaw did the business, swimming her own race out in lane two of her heat, a blanket finish seeing her awarded third place and a second swim tonight.

Van Der Merwe, who is making her senior debut, also acquitted herself extremely well, as finishing fourth in her heat she was close to her best and was only three places shy of making the final.

Anderson was back in the water for her second swim of the morning in the Women’s 400m Freestyle, a personal best effort meaning she’ll have the chance to swim for another medal this evening.

The Men’s 4x50m Medley Relay was one of the final races of the last morning session here in Glasgow, a quartet of Luke Greenbank, Ross Murdoch, Scott McLay and Duncan Scott flying the flag for the hosts. Greenbank swam a strong lead off leg, before the University of Stirling trio of Murdoch, McLay and Scott swan the breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle legs respectively. Fifth in the third and final heat, they couldn’t quite do enough to earn a spot in the final.

Full results can be found here

Tickets for the tonight’s final session of the European Short Course Swimming Championships can be still be purchased here (limited availability for some sessions), with live streaming of the action available via the the BBC Sport website, the app and the red button.