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Day Two Preview: Promising juniors in the mix

Day two of the Swim England National Winter Championships (14 December) features fewer senior swimmers, leaving the titles open for some of the top junior athletes in England.

Many of these events already have qualifiers for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year. This could make the following races more competitive than ever, as younger swimmers step up to contest podium places.

Men’s 100m Breast: Wilby and Attwood need sub-60s

Adam Peaty
  • Selected: Adam Peaty (pictured)
  • Consideration Time: 59.98
  • English Record: 57.13 (Adam Peaty, 2016)
  • Last CWG Gold: Adam Peaty, 2014

England have taken the men’s 100m Breaststroke title at three of the last four Commonwealth Games.

Adam Peaty won the Commonwealth title in Glasgow, starting a run which saw him then pick up European, World and Olympic crowns.

Peaty – who now holds the world record of 57.13 – has already been selected for the Gold Coast after retaining his World Championship title in Budapest.

In Peaty’s absence, James Wilby and Charlie Attwood head the entries.

While both will need personal best times to secure the consideration time and join Peaty on the plane to Australia, their entry times of 1:00.05 and 1:00.39 are both within 0.5 seconds of the time.

Women’s 100m Back: Stiff competition for places

Lizzie Simmonds
  • Selected: Lizzie Simmonds (pictured)
  • Consideration Time: 1:01.25
  • English Record: 58.11 (Gemma Spofforth, 2009)
  • Last CWG Gold: Sarah Price, 2002

Double Olympian Lizzie Simmonds is the only swimmer to be selected so far, having won the British Summer Champs title in 59.72.

While Simmonds is the only active English swimmer to have ducked under the minute marker in the 100m Backstroke, the battle for remaining selection spots could be fierce.

Anna Maine is already eligible for selection, having swum a PB 1:00.71 in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships in August.

Jessica Fullalove has also gone faster than the consideration time on five occasions during 2017. Meanwhile, Chloe Golding, Charlotte Evans and Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist Lily Boseley hold PBs within half a second of the time.

Men’s 200m Free: All to play for

James Guy
  • Selected: James Guy (pictured)
  • Consideration Time: 1:47.53
  • English Record: 1:45.14 (James Guy, 2015)
  • Last CWG Gold: Ross Davenport, 2006

Though double Olympic medallist and 2015 world champion James Guy has already been selected for this event at the Commonwealths, there is a lot of competition with their eyes on the prize.

Nick Grainger swam in the gold medal-winning 4x200m Free relays at both 2015 and 2017 World Championships.

His personal best 1:47.10 is faster than the consideration time and he is the second fastest English swimmer this season on a 1:47.28 from the British Championships in April.

The battle for medals and potential relay selection could be very close with Rio 2016 Olympians Tim Shuttleworth and Cameron Kurle in the mix, as well as promising juniors Elliot Clogg and Jarvis Parkinson.

Women’s 50m Free: A chance to step up

Anna Hopkin
  • Selected: None
  • Consideration Time: 24.49
  • English Record: 23.96 (Francesca Halsall, 2014)
  • Last CWG Gold: Francesca Halsall, 2014

The Women’s 50m Freestyle has no athletes yet to achieve the consideration time for Commonwealth Games selection.

Since the event was introduced to Games in 1990, England has had just two champions in this event. The first was Sue Rolph in 1998, and then Fran Halsall at Glasgow 2014.

The fastest GB swimmer this year is Anna Hopkin (pictured), whose PB of 25.07 is within 0.5 seconds of the qualifying time.

Teenager Freya Rayner has also set her PB this season, coming into the event as second fastest entry on 25.24 from the British Summer Champs.

Men’s 400m IM: Keeping it in the family

Max Litchfield
  • Selected: Max Litchfield (pictured)
  • Consideration Time: 4:16.63
  • English Record: 4:09.62 (Max Litchfield, 2017)
  • Last CWG Gold: None

While England has never won gold at a Commonwealth Games in this event, Max Litchfield has already been selected to compete at the Gold Coast 2018.

Litchfield finished fourth and was the first Commonwealth swimmer home at both the Rio 2016 Olympics and this year’s World Championships in Budapest.

In Litchfield’s absence, the door is open for the second fastest English swimmer over 400m IM this season – his younger brother Joe.

While Joe Litchfield’s PB is more than 2.5 seconds from the qualifying time, he is the fastest entry with the national title well within reach.

Another youngster, Tom Dean, won 200m IM gold and 400m IM silver at the 2017 European Juniors and could well improve again.

Women’s 800m Free: Hibbott leads way

Holly Hibbott
  • Selected: Holly Hibbott (pictured)
  • Consideration Time: 8:38.65
  • English Record: 8:14.10 (Rebecca Adlington, 2008)
  • Last CWG Gold: Rebecca Adlington, 2010

England have a strong recent history of success at the Commonwealth Games in the women’s 800m Free. Until 2014, English swimmers had held the title for three Games running.

Rebecca Cooke won it in 2002 and 2006, while Rebecca Adlington secured the third in 2010.

Holly Hibbott has already been selected for 2018, having made the 800m Free final on her World Championship debut this year.

Rio 2016 Olympian Danielle Huskisson is the only other swimmer to have made the consideration time this season and could prove Hibbott’s biggest rival in Sheffield.

Meanwhile, third fastest entry is Alice Dearing, whose PB 8:39.80 from this year’s British Championships is within two seconds of the consideration time.

  • Click here to view the draft programme for the National Winter Championships.
  • Click here to find out tickets and spectator information.
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