Stage set for breaststroke showdown

16 Apr 2019

The first morning of action from the 2019 British Swimming Championships didn’t disappoint, as Britain’s best breaststrokers setup what could be a final to remember.

Leading the way as expected was Adam Peaty, as he qualified quickest to secure lane four in the final. Local favourites Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson also produced impressive heat performances, whilst James Wilby had the luxury of being able to ease off in the closing stages and still qualify with ease.

Commenting afterwards Peaty said:

“I’m very happy with my progress this morning – I didn’t want anything special, just enough to make it back tonight in lane four.”

Asked about his dive, Peaty added:

“We’ve worked on it relentlessly – in the past we’ve worked on it hard in terms of effort, but now we’re matching that up with sports scientists and I owe a massive thank you to them. They’re the brains behind the whole dive and the pull out and it’s great to have such a supportive team around me.”

The Women’s 200m Freestyle is set to be another of the events to watch on the opening night, with a whole host of talent taking to the blocks. Stokport Metro swimmer Holly Hibbott qualified quickest, but rising star Freya Anderson produced a very mature swim to finish quickly over the final 50m and win her heat. Welshwoman Aly Thomas also took victory in her heat, to set up a great final.

The Women’s 400m Individual Medley is another event that should excite the Tollcross crowd, as Abbie Wood qualified quickest and will look to assert herself in the final alongside seasoned international medallists Aimee Willmott and Hannah Miley, the latter continuing her return after ankle surgery.

The first event of the championships was the Women’s 50m Breaststroke heats, where National Centre Loughborough swimmer Sarah Vasey was comfortably the fastest qualifier for tonight’s final. Her biggest rival, Imogen Clark, withdrew last night to focus on recovering from a back injury, but hopes to compete in the 100m event later in the week.

The men’s backstroke events are wide open at this Championship, so the Men’s 50m Backstroke was always going to be an interesting one, giving some indication as to who’s in form. Fastest qualifier from the morning session was Thomas Howdle, with the likes of Nick Pyle and Liam White in close contention.

Swansea’s Daniel Jervis looked in great form in the Men’s 400m Freestyle, a commanding swim seeing him home some three seconds faster than any other qualifier. Predominantly a 1500m man, Jervis showed an impressive turn of speed at the start of what is set to be a busy week for the Welshman.

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 up in Glasgow, a limited number of tickets are still available on the door at the venue.

For full results from this morning’s session please click here