Medley relay teams secure Olympic spots on final morning in Gwangju

28 Jul 2019

On the final morning of action at the 2019 World Championships Max Litchfield looked in fine form, whilst both Great Britain medley relay teams’ secured places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Litchfield was the first Brit off the blocks and he put together a nice race, solid through the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke legs before bringing it home well on the freestyle. Going in the final heat, the National Centre Loughborough swimmer knew what he had to do, eventually touching third to advance fourth fastest.

Afterwards Litchfield commented:

“That was my first individual race of the week, I’ve blown the cobwebs out and we’ll be back tonight and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got a good lane for the final, so I can’t complain.”

The Men’s 4x100m Medley quartet took care of business on Sunday morning advancing fourth to the final, but just as importantly secured Team GB a place at the Olympic Games next year by virtue of a top 12 finish.

After his bronze medal winning performance in the 200m Backstroke on Friday night, Luke Greenbank led the team off with another quality swim, handing over to James Wilby in fourth place. The 100m breaststroke silver medallist held that position, before James Guy picked up a place on the butterfly leg. That left Duncan Scott to bring it home, which he duly did, touching second in 3.32.35.

Speaking afterwards, Scott said:

“We had to work quite hard but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get in – it’s a really competitive event with so many different countries able to string together some really competitive teams, so it was always going to be tough to make it back, but we’ve done our job and we’re fourth through to the final."

Guy added:

“Hopefully we can get a medal tonight if all things go to plan. It’ll be a scrap but hopefully we can get there in the end.”

The Women’s 4x100m Medley team followed suit, a quartet of Georgia Davies, Molly Renshaw, Alys Thomas and Anna Hopkin securing a final spot. A sub four minute time saw them through in seventh place, with a terrific anchor leg from Anna Hopkin finishing things off.

Of the team’s performance, Davies reflected:

“The main goal was to get the team qualified for next year’s Olympics, so to finish in the top 12 is great, but to finish in the top eight, be in the final and have another shot, is even better. Most of us can probably move it on tonight as well, so that’s what we’ll aim to do."

There was disappointment for Aimee Willmott as she finished two seconds outside a final spot in the 400m Individual Medley, 11th overall. Four seconds down on her season’s best, Willmott was naturally disappointed with her swim, commenting:

“I’m just really disappointed. There should have been way more in there but I’m not sure why that was so slow and so difficult. I guess sometimes that’s just the way it falls, but what I’m capable of doing just didn’t come out in the race.”

The final evening of action kicks off at 20.00 (12.00 UK time) this evening, with Anna Hopkin lining up in the Women’s 50m Freestyle final. You can catch the racing 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:

15:00 – 16:00: Saturday
15.30 – 17.00: Sunday
*highlights will also be available on the red button at select times.