A sixth place finish for Daniel Jervis in the heats declared 1500m Freestyle was followed by Abbie Wood and the Great Britain Women's 4x100m quartet contesting finals on the opening day of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
Distance freestyle specialist and Commonwealth medallist Dan Jervis laid down the early marker in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle, as the 26 year-old took part in the concluding race of the morning session. With the event to be decided using the 'heats declared winner' format, Jervis outpaced those in the lanes alongside him, before ultimately finishing in sixth place overall once the fastest seeded heat in the evening had ran.
Speaking to Nick Hope for the World Aquatics channels after his swim, Jervis reflected on what’s been a challenging year, and how these championships are chance for him to dial back in on doing what he loves:
“It’s no secret that I felt a big loss this summer, I caught covid - it can happen to anyone and for me it happened at the worst time and I had my [Commonwealth Games] dream taken away from me. It affected me not just as an athlete but as a person - it really tested me.
"My aim by coming out here was to fall in love with the sport again. I love swimming, I’m literally doing my dream job and I had called that into question over the last few months.
“We’ve got such a good team out here and that’s proved that I’m enjoying myself again. I don’t care about the time in this meet, I just wanted to enjoy it and I did. I’ve got some fantastic coaches here, plus my coach and certain people back home who have really helped me through the tough bits, and some people have taught me a lot of resilience as well so it’s all good!”
The semi-finals and finals session taking place on the first evening in Australia saw a total of five swimmers take to the pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, with valuable early season experiences for the team as they race against their international rivals.
European champion Abbie Wood was Great Britain’s first finalist in Melbourne, contesting the Women’s 200m Individual Medley showdown from lane one after placing seventh in qualifying. Wood's performances across both the heat and final were fairly consistently even swims, as the 23 year-old improved her closing ranking to sixth in a high-quality final.
Wood returned to action for the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay to join the team of Anna Hopkin, Isabella Hindley and Medi Harris. The quartet had progressed into the final following a dignified heat performance which qualified them into a outside lane draw for the final
Team personnel and order was mirrored from the heats to the final, with Hopkin providing a rocketing start to hand the baton over with the team in second place as the GB quartet front-loaded it's order. Hindley then did well to keep the team within a body length of the leaders on the second leg, with the penultimate swimmer Harris handing over to Wood, whose anchor leg ensured they pipped the Japanese team into seventh.
European and Commonwealth medallist from the summer Harris had also doubled up on day one after making her World Short Course debut in the Women’s 100m Backstroke event. The 20 year-old managed to book herself a place in the semi-finals, where she managed to move her time on and ultimately finished in twelfth place. Olympic medallist and World champion Luke Greenbank competed in the corresponding Men's event, and the Mel Marshall coached-swimmer navigated the heats with a solid swim, before bowing out at the semi-final stage ranked fourteenth.
Elsewhere in the morning session, Tom Dean took part in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley heats, whilst Lewis Burras sprinted in the Men's 50m Butterfly preliminaries as both men got a first swim of the week under their belt.