Anna Hopkin produced a swim to remember on her World Championship debut as she broke the British 100m Freestyle textile record.
Whilst Fran Halsall has gone quicker in the now banned full-body suits, Hopkin obliterated her lifetime best to clock 53.21 and advance to the semi-final stage third quickest. Having already set 50m and 100m PBs this year, Hopkin is only getting better as outlined by her efforts this morning. A speed merchant, Hopkin was 25.48 at the turn before bringing it home in final style.
Of her swim, Hopkin said:
“I can’t believe that! That’s a huge PB and I felt really good, so I’m just excited for tonight now! This is my first World Champs but I just felt really relaxed, I didn’t feel nervous as the couple of international competitions I’ve done have prepared me well and I’m gradually getting used to racing in this environment. If I do that time tonight it might scrape me into the final but hopefully I can go faster!”
After anchoring the Mixed Medley Relay team to bronze last night, Freya Anderson also made sure of her place in the semi-final as she finished fourth in the final heat, which saw her through in 11th overall.
Luke Greenbank is also in the form of his life at these championships and that continued as he qualified third fastest for the Men’s 200m Backstroke semi-finals with a classy swim. After demonstrating his speed was there in the 100m, Greenbank combined that with his natural strength to come home second in his heat, a 1.56.83 time the second fastest of his career.
“I’m really happy to put a good one down in the heats and hopefully I can move it on tonight. I just wanted to come into that with a clean slate with no pressure and the mindset of ‘everything to gain, nothing to lose’. That’s my fastest heat swim and second fastest time ever and it’ll get me a good lane in the semi-final where there’s a bit more going on.”
Both the Men’s and Women’s 200m Breaststroke heats took place on Thursday morning, with Dave Hemmings coached duo Molly Renshaw and James Wilby both in action alongside Ross Murdoch.
Renshaw was up first, a relaxed 2.25.17 heat swim seeing her into the final eighth fastest.
“I’m glad the first one is out the way as it’s always the hardest one! Tonight I need to rate up a little bit and not be so relaxed.”
In the men’s event Murdoch was in action for the first time this meet going in the sixth and final heat. Building through the race, the Stirling based swimmer finished strongly down the final 50m to get his World Championship campaign off to the perfect start; touching second in 2.09.05, Murdoch advanced fifth fastest.
Afterwards he commented:
“It’s been a long week for me sitting and watching so I’m just glad to be into the meet, first swim done and I’m looking forward to putting another tick in the box tonight. I’ve been itching to get going and it’s been a bit frustrating just watching, but it’s really energising as we’ve had such a good meet. I don’t think there’s been a bad swim out of the whole team, so let’s keep this momentum going.”
James Wilby also made light work of moving into the semi-finals, a very controlled swim meant he had surplus energy move up down the final length of the Nambu Univeristy International Pool, a sub 2.10 swim seeing him through 13th overall.
“It was good heat swim. It’s a big 24 hours doing three 200m Breaststrokes so it’s all about being sensible, progressing through each one and being conservative where you can be conservative. I’m reasonably happy with that and it should be good tonight – I’m looking forward to it.”
The action resumes at 20.00 (12.00 UK time) this evening, with Duncan Scott going in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final - 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.