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Stephens boosts Tokyo hopes with consideration time in Glasgow

Laura Stephens went under the Olympic consideration time in the second finals sessions of the British Swimming Glasgow Meet to boost her Tokyo hopes.

The Plymouth Leander swimmer managed a sensational time of 2:07.04 in the Women’s 200m Butterfly heats session the evening before, but the time must be swam in the final to be considered.

Stephens was up to the task and despite swimming slower than her heats time, she still secured an Olympic consideration time, clocking in at 2:08.15.

The time required was 2:08.32, meaning the 22-year-old was 0.17 inside.

In second place was Welsh swimmer Alys Thomas who touched the wall in 2:09.44, while Emily Large of the Bath National Centre took third place with her time of 2:11.39.

On her performance, Stephens said: “I couldn’t really ask for much more at this meet. It’s been really tough turning it round after Selection Trials, having a bit of a disappointing swim there, and Europeans also, more strong swims but outside the consideration time.

“So to come here and get it twice, with a pretty substantial PB yesterday, was really the icing on the cake. Third time’s a charm, isn’t it?!

“In all honesty, I didn’t come in with any expectations, I just came in with an open mind. We’ve been in a bit of a difficult situation with training, do we taper, do we not taper, so I’m not exactly fully rested for this meet.

“I just came in and thought, ‘it’s my last shot, so I’m going to give it everything I have’ – and it’s paid off.”

The men’s final saw all of the top three improve their times from the heats, with Northampton’s Ed Mildred finishing in top spot. His time of 1:58.00 was an improvement of 0.88.

It was a smaller margin of improvement from City of Sheffield’s Jay Lelliott in second place, beating his time by 0.1 to finish in 1:58.54. While Jacob Greenow of Bath University finished in third (2:02.69).

Dominant displays

Adam Peaty was the only athlete in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke A final to go under the minute mark.

The Olympic champion in this event was unsurprisingly well clear of his competitors, and again lowered his time from the heats as he did in the 50m event.

Peaty was first to touch the wall in 58.22 seconds, with James Wilby the nearest to him and finishing second in 1:00.05.

The University of Stirling swimmer, Ross Murdoch, was third in 1:00.31.

In the B final, Loughborough’s David Bloomfield first took three tenths off his heats swim with his time of 1:02.74.

Adam Chillingworth of Plymouth Leander was in second (1:02.89) and Edinburgh’s Uiseann Cooke finished in third (1:03.40).

Both the men’s and women’s 400m Individual Medley finals saw superb swims from Abbie Wood and Max Litchfield.

Wood swam a very impressive heats time of 4:38.20. She was just outside that in the final, clocking a time of 4:39.96, but it was still a great performance from the Loughborough athlete.

Aberdeen’s Hannah Miley (4:44.00) was Wood’s nearest competitor, followed by Glasgow’s Katie Shanahan (4:45.42).

Litchfield followed up Wood’s display with an excellent 4:12.81 to finish 10.57 seconds ahead of second place.

The 26-year-old has already booked his ticket to Tokyo, but his time was also inside the Olympic consideration.

It was a good battle for second place, with Charlie Hutchinson (4:23.38) coming out on top to make it a Loughborough one-two finish. Brodie Williams of the Bath National Centre finished in third (4:24.13).

Earlier in the session, Dan Jervis opened up a lengthy lead in the Men’s 800m Freestyle final to take first place in 7:52.60.

It was again a battle between Bath and Loughborough for second and third, this time Bath NC’s Luke Turley (7:59.53) beat Will Bell (8:01.80) to the wall.

It was steady racing in the women’s final, Emily Clarke took the win in a time of 8:57.93.

Wycombe District’s Ella Dyson (8:59.26) overtook Lauren Wetherell (9:00.27) on the final 50m to take second.

Close finishes

The Men’s 200m Freestyle A final saw British record holder Duncan Scott take top spot with a strong final 50m. He finished in a time of 1:46.02.

Bath NC’s Tom Dean took second place just three hundredths of a second ahead of James Guy, with Dean touching the wall in 1:46.46.

In the B final it was Loughborough’s Jakob Goodman (1:50.03) in the outside lane who saw off Calum Jarvis to finish in first place.

Jarvis’ time of 1:50.24 was enough for second place as he improved by four tenths from his heats swim. Charlie Brown was in third (1:50.93), also inside his time from the heats.

In the para-swimming event, both S14 swimmers in Louis Lawlor and Tom Hamer battled it out.

Hamer finished in 2:00.35, 2.98 seconds ahead of second placed Lawlor (2:03.33) with Lyndon Longhorne of Derwentside clocking a time of 3:36.03.

Lucy Hope was the fastest qualifier in the Women’s 200m Freestyle and she backed it up with a brave swim in the final.

The Edinburgh athlete held off Freya Anderson, who was almost two seconds faster than her time in the heats.

Hope finished in 1:58.78, followed by Anderson in second (1:59.26) and Emma Russell in third.

Similarly to the Olympic trials, the Women’s 100m Breaststroke final was a battle between fellow Loughborough teammates Sarah Vasey and Molly Renshaw.

It was a very tight race between the pair, with Vasey leading after the first 50m, but Renshaw came back to touch first in a time of 1:07.45.

Vasey’s time was 1:07.55, with Kara Hanlon in third after keeping up with the Loughborough pair until the final few meters, finishing in 1:08.72.

Maisie Summers-Newton stole the show in the para-swimming breaststroke event, racking up a huge 1,030 points with her time of 1:34.01.

The SB6 swimmer was half a second outside her own British record with Ellie Simmonds (1:40.90) finishing in second place with a total of 833 points.

SB5 swimmer Grace Harvey finished in third on points total but broke the British record in the event for her classification. She scored 792 points for her time of 1:41.42.

The Men’s 50m Backstroke final was a very close race, with less than half a second between all athletes.

It was Martyn Walton who clocked in first in 25.62 seconds, followed by Scott Gibson in second (25.67) and (Nick Pyle) in third 25.78.

In the women’s event, Kathleen Dawson finished in first placed with her time of 27.64 seconds, followed by Georgia Davies (28.07) in second and Cassie Wild (28.53) in third.

University of Stirling’s Abby Kane managed a time of 34.28 seconds in the para-swimming event, with Ellie Challis (S3) just outside her time from the heats, finishing in 1:02.44.

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