Clark and Litchfield break British records

17 Dec 2018

The Swim England National Winter Championships (25m) saw British records fall as the best in Britain took to the water at Ponds Forge, Sheffield for the close of the short course season.

Imogen Clark of Loughborough University broke her own British short course record in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke final, shaving a further 0.21 seconds off her previous best time to claim the podium top spot in 29.43.

Commenting on the record-breaking swim, Clark said:

“To get a new British record under my belt, I’m really chuffed with that. I broke it a while ago and it’s nice to go under [that time] as I was not expecting to do it.”

Clark also claimed gold in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke final having only progressed as the sixth fastest qualifier.

Max Litchfield of National Centre Loughborough returned to the pool where his career began and served up an impressive swim to lower his own British record in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley. Litchfield stopped the clock at 4:00.18 to seal the National Winter Championship title some nine seconds ahead of his nearest rival, his younger brother Joe.

Litchfield said:

“I’m really pleased with that swim. There’s a few mixed emotions I guess, as I wanted to go sub four minutes, but it’s been a good week and a good end to 2018.”

Anna Hopkin of Ealing SC exceeded her own expectations as she stormed to victory in the Women’s 50m Freestyle. Having knocked 0.24 seconds off her personal best in the heats she carried that form through to the final, lowering her time again by a further 0.43 seconds to claim gold in 23.70.

Afterwards a delighted Hopkin said:

“It’s amazing. I was hoping to go 23 but 23.70?! I’m really happy with that race – it exceeded my expectations by far. My turn wasn’t ideal this morning and I knew it was something that had to work a lot better tonight. I couldn’t see Kayla but it was a case of putting my head down and getting to the wall.

“My main goal is long course but I hope this translates well to that. It gives me a lot of confidence for next year.”

Commonwealth Games champion James Wilby also set a pair of personal bests as he cruised to gold in both the 50m and 100m Breaststroke. The 25 year old Loughborough University swimmer knocked 0.20 seconds off the time he set in the morning heats as he finished in 57.61 in the longer event, having clocked 26.61 in the 50m.

Abbie Wood of National Centre Loughborough was on medal-winning form as she touched first to take gold in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley, meanwhile Cameron Brooks-Clarke continued to make his mark on the national stage as he secured gold in the Men’s 50m Butterfly.

Another National Centre Loughborough swimmer to set a personal best was Luke Greenbank, the backstroke taking the 100m title in 50.88, to slash over a second off his old best.

There was also a strong outing for Bath National Centre swimmer Jessica Fullalove who dropped under the 58 second marker for the first time in her short course career in the Women’s 100m Backstroke, the winning time 57.83.

Click here view the full set of result from the Swim England National Winter Championships 2018.