O’Connor cruises through on day five in Glasgow

20 Apr 2019

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor looked in fine form as she booked her place in the centre lane for tonight’s 200m Individual Medley final, whilst Ben Proud also got his British Championships off to a flying start.

Having to wait until day five for her first swim of the championships, Olympic medallist O’Connor looked ready to go, piecing together three nice strokes before easing home down the last 50m. Just over a second outside the consideration time for a place on the GB team for the World Championships, the 2015 world medallist in this event looks to be in a good place.

Afterwards O’Connor commented:

“That was good for a heat. I wanted to go in there and see what I could do in the first 150 and it felt good, so hopefully there’s a bit more there tonight. I’m stepping in right direction after a difficult few months, but I’m finally getting back to where I want to be.

“I really want to try and book my ticket on the plane, like everyone else here does, so hopefully I can do that tonight.”

Joining her in a strong final line-up are the likes of Hannah Miley, who looked to really enjoy her heat swim, Aimee Willmott, Abbie Wood and Alicia Wilson.

Ben Proud was another athlete to finally get his British Championship campaign underway, qualifying for the Men’s 50m Freestyle final over half a second clear of his nearest rival. Just focusing on the short sprints this week, the Plymouth Leander swimmer will now look to rest up ahead of an assault on another British title and the automatic Worlds qualifying time this evening.

Afterwards the British record holder said:

“I didn’t swim the 100m Free as I’ve started preparations for the 50m only, so I thought I’d just do what I’d do in any major competition. I have to get used to the waiting around and coming into pools waiting until the final few days to swim, so it’s nice preparation.

“When Tokyo comes in two years I’ve got to be swimming well in the mornings, so any chance I can get to try and swim a half decent time I will. I’m happy with that and I’ve obviously got the final tonight to come back and try and do the race as I want to and see what time I can go.”

Next through to the final was Edinburgh University’s David Cumberlidge, with Loughborough’s Alexander Bowen and Stirling’s Scott McLay also securing centre lanes.

Tom Dean looked in good form in the final heat of the Men’s 200m Individual Medley, finishing strongly down the final 50m to edge out 400m champion Max Litchfield and book lane four for tonight’s final.

Speaking afterwards, the young Bath swimmer said:

“I’m really happy with that. I had a chat with my coach beforehand and we just wanted to control that front end and know that I’ve still got more to give in the final, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got the middle lane, which is what it’s all about, knowing I’ll be able to see people around me, which is so key on the IM, especially towards the back end.

On the depth in the event, Dean added:

“We’ve got four or five swimmers under that two minute mark already, so it’s going to be exciting tonight.”

In the penultimate heat Duncan Scott continued his majestic form so far this week with a very smooth opening three lengths, allowing him the luxury of shutting it down completely on the final freestyle leg, winning his heat at a canter. Prior to that Joe Litchfield had taken heat four of six, qualifying second fastest, just ahead of his older brother.

The Women’s 400m Freestyle heats saw the key names come to the fore ahead of tonight’s medal showdown, National Centre Bath’s Holly Hibbott leading the way. After taking the 800m title earlier in the week she’ll be looking to double her gold medal count tonight, but the likes of City of Leeds’ Leah Crisp and 17 year old Millfield swimmer Rachel Anderson will be out to stop her.

Moving up in distance, the Men’s 800m Freestyle got underway at the end of the morning session, with 18 year old Hector Pardoe posting the quickest time of the four heats. The medals for that event will be decided tonight when the fifth and fastest heat kicks off the evening schedule. In the absence of Dan Jervis, the medals are wide open.

Kicking off proceedings on Saturday morning was the Women’s 50m Backstroke and unsurprisingly it was Georgia Davies who took the number one spot heading into the final; the European champion has already secured the British 100m title this week.

The live stream resumes at 6pm this evening in the Deep End Live studio, with the finals kicking off at 6.30pm. Head to the British Swimming Facebook and YouTube channels to ensure you don’t miss out.

If you’re in Glasgow, a limited number of tickets are still available on the door at the venue.

For full results from today’s action please click here