It was finals and medals galore for a number of our World Class Programme athletes, as a whole host of swimmers from across Great Britain made the trip across the Atlantic for the Fort Lauderdale leg of the TYR Pro Swim Series.
The competition, administered by USA Swimming, ran over four days and saw athletes from University of Bath, Swim Wales High Performance Centre, and Loughborough University in attendance, amongst others.
Olympic champion Matthew Richards was one of the standout British athletes in the sunshine state, as he took gold in a rapid Men’s 200m Freestyle A Final. With the field bunched up until the final 50 metres, the 20 year-old broke away from the pack to take a memorable victory.
He also went away with a silver medal in the A final of the Men’s 100m Freestyle. In what was a good swim from the 20 year-old, he did well to stay with the veteran field to get his hand to the wall in a comfortable second place.
The A Final of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke saw notable performances from Kara Hanlon and European medallist Imogen Clark. The pair comfortably made it into the final following a controlled prelims swim, before both improving on their seeded times to take silver and bronze respectively – just behind USA’s Olympic champion Lily King.
Clark then went again in the A Final of the Women’s 50m Breaststroke, with the 23 year-old taking the silver medal – just a tenth of a second off the time she set to take bronze at the European Aquatics Championships last summer.
Hanlon’s second breaststroke outing came in the 200m A final, with the 25 year-old putting in a “best of the rest” performance, as she touched in fourth place amongst a strong field.
European medallist Lauren Cox was then joined by European champion Medi Harris in the A final of the Women’s 50m Backstroke – the pair taking silver and bronze respectively.
The duo then returned for the A Final of the Women’s 100m Backstroke, with Harris taking the bronze and Cox touching half a second behind in fifth, with both women just shy of the sub-60 second barrier.
The Men’s 400m Individual Medley A Final saw a fierce battle for the bronze medal right the way through the race, with William Ryley ultimately touching just short of USA’s Grant Saunders to ultimately finish in fourth.
The distance events at the competition saw particularly close races, and gave British athletes the opportunity to test themselves against a wide range of opposition. Commonwealth medallist Dan Jervis and Olympic marathon swimmer Hector Pardoe both went well in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle event, with the former managing to finish in fourth place, following an incredibly tight last 100 meters. Jervis then went one better in the Men's 800m Freestyle - taking the bronze medal, with Turley in sixth and Pardoe in tenth.
Following a seventh-placed finish in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle, Leah Crisp did well to take a fourth-place finish of her own in the 800m event.
Jervis, Turley and Crisp returned for the 400m Freestyle A Finals – taking fifth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Greg Butler, who finished seventh in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke A Final, also took eighth place in a stacked Men’s 100m Breaststroke A final. He was then joined in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke A Final by Lewis Fraser, as they took sixth and seventh respectively in a race which included Olympic champions Michael Andrew and Cody Miller.
European champion Harriet Jones was back in the water as she touched sixth in the Women’s 50m Butterfly A Final, which was followed by fellow Welshmen Tom Carswell and Lewis Fraser finishing in sixth and seventh in the Men’s A Final of the same event.
The Women’s 100m Butterfly A Final was a similar affair for Jones, as she took sixth in that event, with Jamie Ingram doing enough in the Men’s 100m Butterfly prelims to get himself into the A Final – finishing eighth.
Double medallist Richards rounded off proceedings at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Centre – taking eighth place in the Men’s 50m Freestyle A Final.