The British team rounded out the Mare Nostrum Swim Series in Barcelona in fine style, winning seven gold medals across the two days of action.
Whilst the more established names showed their class once more, it was the emerging stars who grabbed the headlines, with memorable medal winning performances from the likes of National Centre Bath’s Tom Dean.
Off the back of a successful outings at both the Monaco and Canet legs of the series earlier in the week, Dean demonstrated his promise once more as he took double gold in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley and the Men’s 200m Freestyle. On the first day of action Dean edged out his teammate Duncan Scott, making it a British medley 1-2, whilst swimming from lane eight on day two, Dean stuck gold again, with Scott taking the final podium spot.
Commenting on the Mare Nostrum Series, Dean said:
“I’m very happy with my swims over the Mare Nostrum Series. I did 17 races in total and I was lucky enough to come away with a few medals and few good times, but I also had a few not so good swims, but from that I was able to learn from the mistakes and know what I needed to change going into the next races. It’s been perfect preparation for the World Championships in five weeks’ time – it was a tough eight days with a lot of racing but I was able to learn a lot and step up my performances one after the next.”
Anna Hopkin has enjoyed a fine week capped off by winning the Women’s 100m Freestyle in a three way tussle over the closing metres, the youngster just outside her personal best; Freya Anderson was also in the mix in fifth. Hopkin also finished fourth in the 50m equivalent on day one.
After setting an 800m personal best in Canet, Daniel Jervis produced an inspired final 100m in his favoured 1500m event to move from fifth to second, showing he’ll be a force to contend with in Gwangju next month. Fellow endurance swimmer Holly Hibbott also showed she is rounding into good form with the World Championships drawing ever closer; she battled hard over the final 100m of the Women’s 400m Freestyle to bag bronze, just 0.07 of a second shy of top spot.
The likes of Adam Peaty and Ben Proud continued their winning ways, Peaty making it four wins from four finals at the Mare Nostrum series, taking the Men’s 100m Breaststroke and Men’s 50m Breaststroke in Barcelona. In the former the world record holder produced his fastest ever in-season swim, well clear of the field, with James Wilby producing a strong swim for silver, a feat he would repeat over 200m the next day, denied gold despite going sub 2.10. Peaty added the 50m title with his second Championship Record of the weekend, a feat Proud mirrored in the 50m Freestyle.
Georgia Davies took gold in Women’s 50m Backstroke as she did in Canet, whilst her fellow Swansea native Alys Thomas backed up Canet gold with Barcelona silver in the Women’s 200m Butterfly with another strong performance. Also contesting four lengths of the pool, Luke Greenbank was rewarded with bronze in the Men’s 200m Backstroke with Molly Renshaw also climbing onto the third step of the podium in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke.
The team will now return to training before heading to the Far East at the start of July to fine tune their preparations for the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.
Full results from the Barcelona meeting can be found here