Litchfield aiming to take it to the Max in Tokyo after impressive trials swimApril 16, 2021
Max Litchfield swam the fifth fastest 400m Individual Medley time in the world this year to achieve a Tokyo consideration time – but admitted he would have to go quicker if he wanted to win an Olympic medal.
The Loughborough National Centre swimmer finished fourth in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has set his sights on a podium place at this summer’s rearranged Games.
Litchfield was pushed all the way in the final of the 400m Individual Medley at the British Swimming Selection Trials by Bath’s Brodie Williams – with top two both securing consideration times.
After clocking 4:14.67 in the heat, Litchfield knew he would need to go at least 1.20 seconds quicker in the day three finals at the London Aquatics Centre.
And the Loughborough National Centre swimmer comfortably achieved that as he touched home in 4:12.67 – only 0.28 seconds ahead of Williams, who was also under the Tokyo mark as he finished in a personal best time 4:12.95.
Litchfield said: “I’m really, really happy with that.
“I would have liked to have gone a little bit quicker but it’s under the consideration time.
“I’m really pleased for Brodie, he deserves that – he’s an awesome swimmer.
“Rio, I was over the moon with fourth but this time I want to go at least one better and get into the medals. I will have to be a bit quicker than that but it’s only April so I’ve still got time.”
Williams said: “I can’t really believe it.
“I went in with no stress really and just pulled it out of the bag. To get under the consideration time is just unbelievable.”
Superb Scott equals British best
Duncan Scott stormed to victory in the Men’s 100m Freestyle, equalling his own British record – but was disappointed he didn’t set a new best.
The University of Stirling swimmer had already achieved the Tokyo consideration time of 48.35 as he clocked 48.19 in the morning’s heats.
He was narrowly ahead at the turn but sprinted clear of the field in the final 50m to finish in the third fastest time in the world this year of 47.87.
Scott said: “It was quite a but slower than what I wanted.
“It’s great to equal my PB but I was feeling good and thought I would go a wee bit quicker.”
Bath’s Matthew Richards was also under the consideration time as he touched home in 48.23, with his team-mate Thomas Dean third in 48.51.
Disappointed Holly looks at positives
Holly Hibbott was narrowly outside the consideration time as she comfortably won the Women’s 400m Freestyle.
The Bath swimmer was seven seconds ahead of her nearest rival as she finished in 4:07.03 – 1.07 seconds outside the time required.
Hibbott’s Bath team mate Leah Crisp was second in 4:14.03, with Millfield’s Tamryn Van Selm third in 4:16.17.
It was the 10th fastest time in the world this year and Hibbott was trying to take the positives despite not hitting the Tokyo mark.
She said: “I’m a bit disappointed with that.
“I felt I was in good enough shape to come her and do the time.
“That’s one of my fastest times since the Europeans two years ago so I have to take the positives from that.”
Wonderful Wilby wins in style
James Wilby has already been pre-selected for the Olympic Games but he achieved the 200m Breaststroke consideration time with a strong swim.
The Loughborough National Centre swimmer finished in 2:08.06 – 0.99 seconds under the time required.
He said: “Being pre-selected is a nice safety net.
“That does not take away from the fact that, coming here a couple of months out from the summer, I really wanted to put some fast swims in.
“It sets myself up going forward for the Games.”
University of Stirling’s Ross Murdoch admitted he was ‘absolutely delighted’ after achieving the consideration time by 0.07 seconds as he finished runner-up to Wilby.
British record holder Murdoch touched home in 2:08.98, with Loughborough’s Gregory Butler third in 2:13.43.
Thomas times it right
Alys Thomas triumphed in the Women’s 200m Butterfly in 2:08.09 – which was only 0.23 under the consideration time.
The Swansea University swimmer was 0.77 seconds ahead of University of Stirling’s Keanna Macinnes, with Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens third in 2:09.53.
Thomas said: “The last couple of years have been so up and down and overwhelming at some points.
“I’m just so glad I actually did it. I believed in myself and got the time that I wanted.”