World Champs on the horizon after Sette Colli racing

26 Jun 2023

The World Aquatics Championships moved one stroke closer for the 29-strong British Swimming team after a valuable - and successful - weekend of racing at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome.

Among the highlights for the Fukuoka-bound group at Rome's iconic Foro Italico was a dominant victory for Ben Proud in the Men's 50m Freestyle and a medal of each colour for Katie Shanahan, while Freya Colbert and Lauren Cox ended the meet with two medals apiece to their names. 

University of Stirling athlete Shanahan is gearing up for her maiden senior World Championship outing next month, and her displays at Sette Colli show the notable form she is hoping to carry to Japan. 

Her weekend began with a superb victory in the Women's 400m Individual Medley, ahead of teammate Colbert in third for bronze, the pair having served up a stunning showpiece in this event at April's British Swimming Championships. Katie followed this 400m IM performance up with a busy Sunday that saw her claim silver in the 200m Backstroke - the same result as she achieved in this pool at last year's European Championships - as well as bronze in the 200m Individual Medley. 

Colbert, meanwhile, provided her swim of the meet in the opening day's Women's 200m Freestyle final, dropping more than a second from her existing personal best to clock a 1:56.59 and take the silver medal. That final featured no fewer than five Brits, a promising prospect for the Women's 4x200m Freestyle Relay team. 

Katie Shanahan backstroke 400m IM Rome 2022.JPG
Katie Shanahan won gold, silver and bronze in Rome

Friday also saw another Roman triumph for Proud, who completed his historic hat-trick of World Championship, European and Commonwealth 50m Freestyle titles at the Foro Italico last August. This time around, it was Sette Colli gold in the splash and dash for the double Olympian, who powered to the win by more than 0.3 seconds in the sport's fastest event as he builds towards his world title defence in a few weeks.

Lauren Cox will be one of the World Championship debutants in Fukuoka, with her Worlds preparation continuing with a silver double at Sette Colli. She began with second in the Women's 50m Backstroke on Friday, following it up with the same placing in the 100m Backstroke on Saturday. 

Silvers were also won across the meet by Laura Stephens in the Women's 200m Butterfly, Tom Dean in the Men's 200m Freestyle and Duncan Scott in the Men's 200m Individual Medley, while Matt Richards was the best of four British men in the 100m Freestyle finale, taking home the bronze medal.

Anna Hopkin (50m Freestyle) and Brodie Williams (200m Backstroke) rounded out the weekend with bronze medals in their final races on Sunday. 

Full results from Sette Colli Trophy 2023 are available on the event's website.