Stephens flying into Thursday finals

6 Apr 2023

Laura Stephens produced a statement swim in the defence of her Women's 200m Butterfly title on the third morning of heats at the British Swimming Championships. 

The Commonwealth medallist was carrying form into the event after last month's Edinburgh International, and she duly backed it up in the last heat, surging down the opening 50m to lead at the first turn and gradually building her advantage from there, eventually touching in a time that promises much ahead of tonight's final, when Laura will be targeting a World Championship qualifying or consideration mark. 

Millfield's Emily Large was third fastest after following Stephens into the wall, while University of Stirling athlete Keanna MacInnes split the two in qualifying after winning her heat.

No swimming fan will want to miss the Men's 100m Freestyle final, after a blockbuster set of heats saw Matt Richards (Millfield) come close to the British record to lead the way. 

Richards attacked the opening lap and did not look back as he reached the wall in a new personal best of 47.72, securing lane four as part of a stacked showpiece. Jacob Whittle (Loughborough Performance Centre) was second-fastest in that heat and overall, with Duncan Scott rounding out the top three - while Tom Dean and Lewis Burras complete the five fastest qualifiers.

Anna Hopkin comfortably booked herself the centre lane for tonight's Women's 50m Freestyle final, charging to the wall in confident fashion to open her meet for the week.

The Olympic gold medallist - who trains under Mel Marshall at the Loughborough Performance Centre - will line up next to Bristol Henleaze athlete Rebecca Guy, who was second-fastest, with Eva Okaro (Sevenoaks) rounding out the morning's top three.

In the Men's 400m Individual Medley, Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) led the qualifying times after a solid swim in the penultimate heat, establishing a sizeable lead in his heat across the butterfly and backstroke legs and taking it home well to ensure he was faster than Angus Allison (University of Stirling), next to him in the heat and lining up alongside him in the final as second-fastest qualifier too.

University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming competitor Cameron Travis placed himself top of the Men's 1500m Freestyle rankings ahead of tonight's fastest heat after a thrilling finish to his morning race. 

Travis paced his swim well across the 30 laps and had enough energy left down the final 50m to hold off a pacey late charge from Sean McCann (City of Leicester), who is ranked second before the evening. 

For the full morning's results, as well as information about tonight's finals, ticket details and how to watch every single swim of the week, check out our “What’s On?” page.

Matt Richards race ready 100m Freestyle Ponds Forge BSC 2023 MH
Matt Richards was in fine form in the Men's 100m Freestyle heats