Butterfly and Benidorm for Bath's James Guy as he seals another win in LondonApril 17, 2021
7A night consisting of a number of splash ‘n’ dash races saw Bath swimmer and 2016 Olympian James Guy securing another win in the Men’s 100m Butterfly.
He and teammate Jacob Peters both achieved the Olympic consideration time to deliver a 1-2 finish for the Bath National Centre.
Guy won the event in 51.44, improving on his time of 51.71 from the prelims. Peters swam a huge personal best to finish second in 51.65, also dipping under the time needed for him to be put forward for Olympic selection (51.96). Third place went to Northampton’s Ed Mildred who finished in 52.67.
James Guy described his performances so far: “It’s been a good few days so far, I had a good 200 fly on the first day. The 100 there was okay, that’s the fastest I’ve been for a few years so things are going quite well – not the time I was hoping for but obviously I can progress that at the Olympics.
When asked what he plans to do ahead of the highly anticipated Men’s 200m Freestyle, he said: “I think I’m going to go back home, have a nice dinner, put on some Benidorm and just chill out.”
Peters, who swam to his first ever Olympic consideration time in the event said: “I’ve moved to to the NC [Bath] this year and obviously that’s been a great help but most of my work has been done at Poole Swimming Club and I’d just like to give Barry [coach] a big shout out because I definitely wouldn’t be here without him.”
‘Try and claw it back’
The Women’s 100m Freestyle saw sprinting aces Freya Anderson and Anna Hopkin fight tooth and nail to get their hand on the wall first. Anderson was first to the wall, finishing in 53.40 ahead of second place Hopkin who touched in 53.49 – both those times being under the Olympic consideration mark of 53.88.
Third place went to Lucy Hope of Edinburgh University who set a new Scottish record time of 54.19, downing a 13-year-old record of 54.31 set by Caitlin McClatchey in 2008.
Speaking on her approach to the race, Anderson said: “Well I know how fast Anna [Hopkin] is on the first 50 so that’s the only way I can swim it really – is to try and claw it back. It’s amazing we both got under the consideration time, it’s really good to see the 100 free becoming so competitive.
When asked about living and racing within a bubble, she responded: “It’s definitely been different, there’s not that much of an atmosphere without a crowd but I’ve got a great support team around me which has made it really easy and really fun.”
Anna Hopkin, who joined the National Centre Loughborough just a year ago said after her swim: “I was really happy with that, I would have liked to go a bit quicker but this year has been so uncertain and it’s been difficult to know what kind of form I’m in so to be that close to my best time, and under the consideration time, I’m over the moon.
“It’s been great the last few months, obviously I changed programme a year ago so it’s been great training with Mel [Marshall] and my new teammates – I’m just glad that it’s all been going really well.”
Proud charges to a win
Ben Proud led in a commanding fashion to win the Men’s 50m Freestyle in 21.42, which secures the double Commonwealth champion and 2016 Olympian a spot as the second-fastest time in the world so far this year, just 0.01 behind Russia’s Vladimir Morozov.
Yusuke Legard of Wycombe District SC touched in second in 22.10, while 16-year-old Jacob Whittle continued his impressive form to finish third in a personal best time of 22.55.
On his swims, Proud commented: “It’s a different one this year, for the Olympic this year I really want to hone in on that 50 and if I’m going to do that then then I really need to be able to get up and go when needed.
“Going to the last Olympics, it was my first one, it was all quite new. I’ve had a host of experience since then so I’m looking to do the best I can, get the best work leading into it and then see what happens.
“It’s a short race but lots to think about. We work on details every single day, I’ve always had a passion for it – overthinking the details and it pays off.”
‘To be able to do that is a shock’
The Women’s 200m Individual Medley delivered one of the standout races of the evening’s action with Abbie Wood and Alicia Wilson battling it out from start to finish.
Medley veteran Wood just got her hand on the wall first in 2:09.23, lowering her personal best time in the process and securing the consideration time for this summer’s Games (2:11.10).
Guildford City’s Wilson was just behind in 2:09.61 after taking the race out hard on the butterfly and backstroke legs. Loughborough University swimming Candice Hall finished in third with a time of 2:13.67.
Speaking on her race, Wood said: “I think I was just wanting to have a fun race really, I felt the pressure was off after the 200m breaststroke and I knew I was in better form than I thought I was so I just wanted to see what I could get out of me – it was just a good race with Alicia.
She explained how the last year of training has been for her: “I think just home workouts, I got a job to get out of the house and I was always on Zoom!
On the final day of racing, she said: “I’m having a go at the 100m breaststroke but I think I’m just going to race it along with my teammates Sarah and Molly and just have a bit more fun and see what will happen with it really.
Alicia Wilson, who also achieved the Olympic consideration time in what was an extremely close race, said: “Honestly, when I was just sitting having a nap earlier I was just trying to get below 2:11 so to be able to do that is a shock.
“It’s definitely hard because I don’t have my teammates here but I’m thankful to have the coaching staff that I do because that has definitely compensated for it.
Speaking on the upcoming summer of racing and her aspirations, she said: “Honestly I’m not really sure, just to do my best and see if I can get on a team.”
Stirling shows class in backstroke
Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild of the University of Stirling posted a 1-2 finish in the Women’s 200m Backstroke, with Dawson swimming under the Olympic consideration time of 2:08.44 to win in 2:08.14 – which doubles as a new Scottish record.
Her teammate and second place finisher in the 100m backstroke, Cassie Wild, was the closest finisher to Dawson – touching in 2:10.94 ahead of third place Honey Osrin (2:11.76).
While speaking to Jazz Carlin afterwards, Dawson said: “I’m delighted. It feels amazing. I knew I’d got the job done in the 100m, so I was coming into this and having some fun, as much as you can in the 200m back, so it’s great to come away with the time!”
“I’ve just been working really well with the coaches, I’ve been applying myself in training all the time, just doing what they’re telling me to do, and it’s working! I’d love to be in that Mixed 4x100m Medley in Tokyo, I know that’s a huge medal chance so that would be amazing.”