World Championship medallist Ross Murdoch delivered a season best performance on day five of the World Championships in Budapest to secure a place in the final of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke.
Murdoch (University of Stirling) won his semi-final in 2:07.72 – the second fastest swim of his career behind his own British and Commonwealth Record – and goes into the final as third fastest qualifier.“I was about 0.4 of my British Record and that’s the first time I’ve been under 2:08 since August 2014 and so it’s nice to be back,” said Murdoch.
“I said back in April that I was absolutely delighted to make the team and I said I would do everything to make sure I was in better shape than that and I definitely am. I think you just have to let the environment take you, you just have to swim the race, tonight I stuck to my race plan and I’m looking forward to the final.”
Max Litchfield finished an agonising fourth in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final. The City of Sheffield swimmer was just off his own British and Commonwealth Record to touch in 1:56.86. Gold went to Chase Kalisz of the USA in 1:55.56, silver to Kosuke Hagino of Japan in 1:56.01 and bronze to Shun Wang of China in 1:56.28.“It’s always a bit difficult when you come fourth,” said Litchfield. “I was going in there to get a 1:56 time which I got but yeah it’s disappointing even though it looks good for the rest of the week and my preferred 400m medley.
“I went in with the same mind set as always; it’s just about getting in there and racing fast. I thought I went quite fast but tonight it just wasn’t fast enough even though I’ve moved that event on over the past two days.”
British finalists in action at the Duna Arena included Duncan Scott (University of Stirling), who went in the Men’s 100m Freestyle Final and finished joint fifth, and Georgia Davies (Loughborough University) who contested the Women’s 50m Backstroke Final and placed eighth.
Scott, appearing at his second World Championships having won gold in the 4x200 Freestyle Relay two years ago, said: “I’m around that 48 second mark again, it’s not a million miles away from my best so I’m not that disappointed with the race but hugely gutted with not being able to produce my best time on the day which obviously matters.
“Getting a personal best is the absolute ideal. It’s tough because I’m quite gutted with the time but it is only my second international with individual swims so I’ve got to look at that in a positive way. I’ve made another final this week and I’m really proud of that.”
Commenting on her performance, Davies said: “Last night I was so thrilled with the time and that really filled me with confidence coming into tonight and I did think I had a bit more in me, so to not really see the fruits of that coming out tonight I’m disappointed.”
At her first World Championships 16-yearold Freya Anderson (Ellesmere College Titans) set a new personal best time of 53.91 in the Women’s 100m Freestyle semi-final to finish 12th overall.“There was no pressure on me coming in,” said Anderson. “I was just coming in to race and it was quite fun. It wasn’t that scary going up against the likes of the Olympic Champion, I just stuck to the plan, focused on myself and tried not to think about what the others were doing.
“I think it’s good to get this kind of experience in when I’m younger and hopefully in the future I will be better because of it.”
The Women’s 200m Breaststroke semi-final saw two British swimmers vying for spots in the final. Both improved on their times from the morning heats and Molly Renshaw (National Centre Loughborough) qualified for tomorrow’s event in seventh with Jocelyn Ullyet missing out by the smallest of margins 1/100 of a second in ninth.
“I knew that it would definitely take a 2:23 to make it back so I had to go out there and see how fast I could go and then hold on at the end which is tough because I could see the other girls coming past me but I just had focus on my own race and get my head down,” said Renshaw.
Luke Greenbank (National Centre Loughborough) finished his Men’s 200m Backstroke campaign at the semi-final stage finishing 13th overall.
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