MacInnes leads the way in Sunday heats

14 Aug 2022

Keanna MacInnes, Jonathon Marshall and Kara Hanlon all made morning progress in Sunday's heats at the European Aquatics Championships, while the Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay team set themselves up for a big final later on. 

It was a quieter morning for the British contingent in Rome, as athletes' programmes are managed to protect them, physically and mentally, at the end of an unprecedented summer of racing. 

First up was University of Stirling athlete MacInnes, alongside Holly Hibbott, in the Women's 100m Butterfly heats. MacInnes took the race out well down the first 50m and held on well as she came back, finishing close to a new personal best to ensure she moved through seventh-fastest into the semi-finals.

Bath Performance Centre woman Hibbott, who has switched her focus more strongly towards butterfly this season, missed out in 21st ahead of the 200m event later in the meet.

The Men's 50m Backstroke heats were busy from a GB perspective, with three athletes involved. Leading the way was Jonathon Marshall, who put together a good lap of sprint backstroke to squeeze into the next round in 15th. 

Behind him, Jonathon Adam (Bath Performance Centre) swam well too and forced a swim-off later in the session - but he was pipped in that one to agonisingly miss out on the semis. Sebastian Somerset also did not make it through, placing 23rd.

The final British individual involvement of the Sunday heats came in the Women's 200m Breaststroke, as Kara Hanlon returned to the pool the morning after her maiden senior European final in the 100m the night before.

Given the quick turnaround, Hanlon did well to attack the opening half of the race and try to maintain the pace from there, ultimately going through to the semi-finals in 11th. 

Rounding out the session was the Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay heats. Britain's relay teams have been in rich form throughout the summer and particularly here in Rome, and the quartet of Ed Mildred, Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards and Tom Dean will hope to carry that momentum into the evening. 

In the heats, they did a professional job from an outside lane, staying among the leading pack throughout and nearly touching first in their race, eventually finishing narrowly behind Hungary in that one and third overall ahead of the medal showdown. 

For more info on results, start lists and how to watch every session of swimming on the BBC, click here.