Wood in finals action as sprint freestylers shine

16 Dec 2022

Abbie Wood was the sole appearance maker in a final for Great Britain on day 4 of the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Melbourne, as she contested a fierce 200m Breaststroke final. 

Taking lane eight following a composed heats swim, Wood did well to keep up with the field down the first half of the race with her smooth gliding breaststroke technique; before ultimately falling just sort of the pack to touch in eighth once the race developed and her contest with the chasing pack concluded.

The David Hemming's swimmer has played a part in Britain's relay efforts throughout the week so far, and turns her attentions next to the 400m Individual Medley on Saturday as she continues to target making a string of individual finals.

Elsewhere, Anna Hopkin put herself in with a great chance of a medal tomorrow night as she qualified in fourth for the final of the Women’s 50m Freestyle.

Going in the first semi-final, the 26 year-old Olympic champion had one of the sharpest starts of the field; going stroke for stroke with home favourite Emma McKeon down the first 25 metres, before the pair pulled away from the pack to get to the wall in tandem, with Hopkin taking second place in the race – securing one of the middle four lanes for the final.

Hopkin’s British compatriot Isabella Hindley also went in the earlier preliminaries, closing out in 19th place and just two tenths outside of the semi-final spaces.

The sprint-freestyle pairing of Ben Proud and Lewis Burras were also in action in the Men’s 50m Freestyle, with the two both securing placed in tomorrow's medal contest.

It was Burras who went in the first of the two semi-final's – the 22 year-old coming up first following a slow start, before getting back into the mix down the back end to ultimately touch second in a finish where the top five were separated by five hundredths of a second.

Burras World SC 22 50 free
Burras will be eyeing a potential place on the podium tomorrow

Proud put in an equally impressive performance in the second semi-final, as the World, European, and Commonwealth champion over the “splash and dash” event also finished runner-up in his race.

Seeded in lane five, the 28 year-old was level with the leaders at the halfway point, before the Cayman Islands’ Jordan Crooks pulled away to touch first, with Proud in second – also qualifying second for the final, with Burras progressing in joint fifth overall.

Adam Peaty was also back at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, as the triple Olympic champion went in the first heat of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke.

Despite quite famously being his lesser-preferred breaststroke event, Peaty commanded his heat in what was a mismatch – his lack of competition perhaps contributing to what was ultimately an 18th placed finish – a few seconds outside of the final places.

The full Championships schedule, event start lists and results can be found on the World Aquatics website, with live streaming available on the All Aquatics streaming platform.