Clean sweep of qualifiers on day four in Gwangju

24 Jul 2019

The fourth morning of action at the World Championships in South Korea saw all nine Brits advance through their heats, meaning they’ll return to the pool later today.

European champions in the 4x100m Mixed Medley relay, a quartet of Georgia Davies, James Wilby, James Guy and Freya Anderson represented Great Britain, combining to ensure a safe passage into tonight’s final.

Davies was off first with a solid swim, but with some teams opting for a male on the opening leg, James Wilby had plenty of people to chase. By the time James Guy handed over to Freya Anderson the team were up to second, with qualification looking like a formality.

Anderson touched in 3.43.37 to secure the team a second place finish, just a fraction of a second shy of the win, and it’ll now be all to play for in the final this evening. Summarising, Wilby said:

“I’m sure the whole team will step up and I’m proud to do my part this morning to get them through to the final. At the end of the day we’re leaving the morning session and everyone did the job they needed to do, so it’ll be a really exciting one tonight.”

Fresh from winning 200m Freestyle bronze last night, Duncan Scott was joined in the opening round of the Men’s 200m Individual Medley by Tom Dean, the pair getting the job done to qualify for the semi-finals.

Returning to the pool the morning after winning a medal is never easy, but Scott did what he needed to do, a 1.58.57 swim in the final heat putting him fifth fastest on paper heading into the next round tonight.

“I knew it was going to be quite a tough race and I had to almost leave everything in there, but I like to think I’ll come back tonight in slightly different shape. That’s my fastest ever heat swim for a 200m IM – it was a tough morning swim but I think I put it together quite well.”

Dean was also in good form, a very mature swim seeing him use the breaststroke leg to make inroads to the early leaders, as he eventually reached the wall fifth in 1.59.64 to qualify 15th overall.

In fact that was Dean’s fastest ever heat swim, as he said:

“That was good – that’s my first time under two minutes in the morning but it was a tough heat in with some of the best in the world - I’m very happy.”

Alys Thomas led from gun to tape in the fourth and final heat of the Women’s 200m Butterfly, as she made light work of qualification. Winning by a full body length, Thomas will take confidence as she heads into the semi-finals, where she will expect to progress once more.

“It was a solid heat swim and I’m happy to be through. I’ve got belief that I can go quicker tonight.”

Laura Stephens also advanced in fine style, eighth fastest into the next round thanks to committed swim.

“I’m really happy. The front end was definitely really strong, but there’s a bit of work to do on the last 50m. It was a bit nerve-wracking but I just tried to focus on my own race and not worry about what was going on around me – I just put the blinkers on and got down and did it.”

Georgia Davies got the morning off to a perfect start as she produced a dominant performance to win her heat of the Women’s 50m Backstroke. Drawn in lane four of the penultimate race, Davies looked cool, calm and collected as she took a clear victory, commenting afterwards:

“Job done for the morning. That was a solid heat swim and I’m through to the semis comfortably, so I’m looking forward to coming back and swimming faster tonight.”

Adam Peaty will go for his second gold of the week in the 50m Breaststroke later on today.

The action resumes at 10.00 local time (02.00 UK time) tomorrow - you can catch all the action live on FINA TV

Full results from the FINA World Aquatics Championships can be found here.

Highlights will be shown on the BBC Two as follows:

15.45 – 17.15: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
15:00 – 16:00: Saturday
15.30 – 17.00: Sunday
*highlights will also be available on the red button at select times.