Molly Renshaw was in personal best form on Monday morning as five of the six Brits in action progressed to the next round of their respective events.
With the team on a high after some brilliant swims on day one of the World Aquatics Championships, Renshaw seized her opportunity with a large lifetime best performance in the heats of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke.
Delivering when it mattered, Renshaw used her 200m strength to finish strongly in heat four, getting up for second place and a 1.07.43 time, over three tenths quicker than she’s ever gone before. That saw her through 13th, with a large group of women finishing within two tenths of each other.
Pleased with her efforts, Renshaw said:
“I’m really happy with that – it felt quite smooth so I was really surprise when I saw it was a PB, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do later on. I don’t want to put any limits on myself – I’ll try and stick with everyone down the first 50 and use my back end to come back strong.”
Commenting on the buzz of a great first day for the team, the National Centre Loughborough swimmer added:
“I wasn’t here for the finals session last night but just seeing the results come in, not just from our team but other nations, the unexpected is happening and it’s really exciting!”
One of those great results last night was the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle relay and after their success in that event Duncan Scott and James Guy were back in action in the first round of the Men’s 200m Freestyle, both men looking in fine form as they won their heats to advance to tonight’s semi-finals. Scott was up first, a controlled swim seeing him touch first in 1.46.45, whilst Guy was dominant in the final heat, setting the fastest time of the seven races with a 1.46.18 winning performance.
Setting his stall out from the gun to build a sizeable lead, Guy was equally calm and collected when he spoke to the media afterwards, commenting:
“Coming into this meet I’ve got no pressure at all. I haven’t swum 1.45 for two years, but I’ve been pretty stable for a while now and that was a season’s best, so hopefully I can go faster tonight. I’m here to focus on myself and just enjoy racing as I’ve realised over the last few months it’s only swimming!”
Of his swim Scott said:
“Off the back of last night it was always going to be quite tough but that was good, I’m happy with that. It was a bit of a dog fight by the end but you know it’s going to be like that going into it.”
Georgia Davies was in action in the opening event of day two, the Women’s 100m Backstroke, acquitting herself very well to safely advance to the next round. Drawn in the final of the seven heats, Davies swan a strong race to take third with a sub 60 clocking, meaning she progresses seventh fastest overall.
Davies said afterwards:
“I’m really happy to have got that first heat swim out of the way as I’m always quite nervous before my first swim - hopefully I can try and replicate that or go at bit faster tonight. I’ve never made an individual 100 back final at the World Champs, so if I can drop the time down a bit tonight I’ll be pleased.”
It wasn’t to be for Jessica Fullalove, as she finished ninth in her heat after an issue with her starting ledge – she’ll return to the pool on Friday morning for the heats of the 200m, her favoured event.
In the men’s event Luke Greenbank produced the second best race of his life to progress into the semi-finals. Having swum a 53.92 personal best in April at the British Championships, Greenbank hoped to take it up a notch at these World Championships and he looks set to do that after a great heat swim. Drawn in lane seven, the British champion swam his own race, getting up for fifth as he touched in 53.95, a sterling effort.
After a nervous wait for the final two heats, Greenbank, with a smile on his face, said:
“I’m really pleased to make it through and get another swim and hopefully I can go a bit faster tonight. I wanted to lay down a good time in the heats and make it back and I’ve done that. I’ll go back, look at the video and talk with Mel now and we’ll see if there are any areas I can improve on ahead of tonight.”
The action resumes at 20.00 local time (12.00 UK time) tonight - 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.