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From disappointment to delight as Greenbank crowned British champion

Luke Greenbank came back stronger, after a disappointing performance in the heats, to take gold on day two of the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

The Loughborough National Centre swimmer, who has already been pre-selected in the 200m Backstroke for the Commonwealth Games, showed great determination to take the victory in the 100m Backstroke final.

An admittedly ‘disappointing’ heats swim saw him start in the outside lane in the final, but a time of 54.56 seconds saw him finish on top of the podium at the end of the second day of action.

Bath National Centre swimmers Brodie Williams and Jonathon Adam finished in second and third place respectively.

Williams touched the wall in 54.68, just 0.07 ahead of his teammate, with Adam managing a time of 54.75.

In the B final, the University of Stirling’s Craig McNally came out on top in 55.03 while Millfield’s Conor Cherrington took the victory in the junior final.

On the win, Greenbank said: “I was disappointed this morning, so I knew I could improve tonight and it was great to come away from the win.

“It feels in a good place. Training has been all over the place this year, especially with ISL at start of year. We’re trying to get a good block in and then the main focus is looking towards the summer.

“We can use this as a good springboard into Worlds, Commies and that busy summer.

“It’s the first time my mum and dad have been able to come and watch me in two years. It’s great to have them here, the full stands help with the atmosphere and to help people get the best out of themselves.”

Guy powers to British title

Olympic champion James Guy dominated the 200m Butterfly final as he powered home to be crowned British champion.

The 26-year-old had opened up a strong lead at the half-way mark and showed great speed as he continued to pull away from the remainder of the field.

Guy finished in 1:56.31, exactly a second ahead of Loughborough University’s Mason Wilby (1:57.31) who touched in second place.

City of Sheffield’s Jay Lelliot took bronze in a time of 1:57.77.

After a successful Olympic Games last summer, the Bath National Centre swimmer revealed that he ‘wants more’ as he sets his sights firmly on Paris 2024.

Despite taking a break after Tokyo, he still managed a ‘pretty impressive’ swim and after his race he said: “For where I am right now after a big break after Tokyo, this cycle from January to April has been condensed a bit, I got COVID in January so wasn’t really back until mid-January.

“Time was running out for trials. So to go that time there after eight weeks work, that’s pretty impressive, it’s really good and hopefully we can move it on in the summer.

“You have to know where you’re at at times and be realistic. We all know Olympic year was a massive year and that we had a bit of time off after the Games.

“There’s no point putting too much pressure on yourself. Considering I came back mid-Jan, that wasn’t bad going tonight, it’s not a bad start.

“The way I swam things there was really, really good – but having a crowd again, my mum and dad seeing me swim again, my brother is coming to coach tomorrow – having my younger bro on poolside will be quite cool – times have changed.

“What I’ve realised is that for every swimmer, Olympic year is always the biggest year, and it’s all about Paris in two years’ time. Adam Peaty will say the same thing. This year, you get what you get.

“With what I’ve achieved now, I could quite happily walk away from the sport with all that – but I want more than that. Going to Paris will be really exciting and it’s one more push to achieve that.”

Wood swims seasons best

Abbie Wood added to her victory in the 200m Freestyle with a gold medal in the 200m Breaststroke event.

The Loughborough National Centre athlete achieved a season’s best as she admitted that she is ‘figuring out her race plan’.

Wood’s teammate Lily Booker was the silver medallist with a time of 2:27.34 and Edinburgh University’s Kara Hanlon (2:27.61) followed closely in third.

Wood said: “I definitely can’t be too annoyed, I’m just trying to get my race process when I’m out on my own without Molly pushing me on like last year. So it’s just trying to figure out my own race plan and keep building from there for each competition for the rest of the season.

“I think I can critique myself far too much in the race! I feel like when I’m in a race like the 200m Free last night, I get carried away with the race and that’s when I find my best flow.

“When I’m on my own, I definitely critique every single stroke and probably tear myself apart a bit. It’s just part of learning, especially in this event.

“I just have to get used to a busy programme. The body is hurting a bit, but I’ve got a day off tomorrow, so that’s nice!”

Wilby sets new PB

Adam Peaty was named British champion in the 50m Breaststroke as his Loughborough teammate James Wilby set a new personal best.

Peaty admitted that his swim felt faster but that he wasn’t going to be ‘too harsh’ on himself having not swam many 50m races so far this season.

His winning time was 26.91, followed by Wilby in 27.16 and City of Glasgow’s Craig Benson finishing third in 27.55.

Peaty said: “It’s a funny one, because I thought it was going to be faster, it felt like a 26.7. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve done a 50m so far this season, so I don’t want to be too harsh on myself.

“The speed is always going to be the thing that suffers, you’ll see that for many people who come off the Olympics, the speed is just a little bit harder to get to.

“This meet is more of a marker for me, trying to adapt my training now to what I need to do in June, July, August, that’s what it’s all about.

“It’s a 26.9, it’s all right – but at the same time, I’ve got the value in knowing what I need to do now, I know how it feels.

“You can do as much as you want in training, but that’s not really where it is all at.

“From those last two races today, I’ve got a marker now, I know where I am. The scoreboard never lies, it’s the truth, it doesn’t matter whether you are rested, tapered, it doesn’t matter – I know where I am at now.

“Mel and I have some good data, what we are off the start, what my stroke is like, the last 20m. That’s invaluable to us because we haven’t raced much this season, we haven’t got the usual data so it’s good for us to see where we need to push, where we need to get more from that area. But it’s looking good.”

The B final saw Millfield’s Elliott Woodburn break the British age-group record as he finished just outside the medal places. His time of 28.27 resulted in him finishing fourth by 0.01.

Crisp victory for Leah

Leah Crisp finished ahead of the pack in the Women’s 800m Freestyle to take the title of British champion.

The Bath National Centre swimmer finished almost four seconds ahead of her nearest rivals with a time of 8:45.98.

Barnet’s Fleur Lewis swam a strong race to take second place in 8:49.80 with City of Sheffield’s Ashleigh Baillie finishing inside the European Junior consideration time as she touched the wall in 8:51.34 for third.

Harris wins first senior British title

Swansea University’s Medi Harris was claimed her first senior British title as she triumphed in the Women’s 100m Backstroke final.

She was the only swimmer to go under the one minute-mark as she clocked in at 59.95, less than one second ahead of Loughborough University’s Lauren Cox at 1:00.84.

Kathleen Dawson of the University of Stirling finished in third with a 1:01.05.

Harris said: “It’s my first senior British title. I was looking for a better time, but considering how good the girls are in that event, I’m really pleased with that.

“Competing in that field, it’s amazing. Knowing what they’ve done, they’ve set an example for all girls in the world over 100m and 200m Back, it’s so good. I couldn’t ask for kinder women to race against either, they’re so nice.

“Our coaches have worked us really hard and we’ve been putting in the hard work. We work well as a team as well, we pick each other up when we’re down or motivate each other when we need it. We are a really good team.”

Derventio second and third finishes

Deventio’s Sophie Yendell and Georgina Pryor took second and third as Cardiff’s Harriet Jones earned the British title in the Women’s 50m Butterfly final.

The 100m is her favoured event, but Jones showed great speed across half the distance to finish in a time of 26.48.

She explained that she was working on her ‘front-end speed’ ahead of the 100m later in the competition.

Yendell managed a time of 26.67 for silver and Pryor was 0.10 behind her teammate with a 26.77 finish.

After her race, Jones said: “The 50m is always a bit of fun, and then technically I want to go out a similar time, maybe just a tiny bit slower than what I’ve done there.

“The work there is about the front-end speed, so the 50m just builds into the 100m.

“We’ve had a good training block, everything seems to be going well, so we’ll see what the 100m brings on Sunday!”