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Ellie Challis at the double again as she shatters long-standing British record

Ellie Challis shattered a long-standing British record on the third day of the Manchester International Swim Meet – and then broke it again in the final session of the competition.

It was the second time during the event that the 17-year-old Clacton swimmer had twice lowered a British record.

Having set a new best in the heats and then the final in the S3 50m Breaststroke on Friday, Challis produced arguably the performance of the meet at the Manchester Aquatics Centre in the S3 100m Freestyle.

Fran Williamson’s time of 2:18.88 – which she set in Durban in December 2006 – had stood for more than 14 years but Challis knocked a staggering 19.31 seconds off it as she clocked 1:59.57 in the heats.

That record lasted only a few hours as Challis shaved a further 4.30 seconds off it in the finals sessions, touching home in 1:55.30.

Northampton’s S10 swimmer Zara Mullooly won the race with 873 points for her time of 1:01.91, with City of Manchester Aquatics’ Hannah Russell (S12) second in 1:02.62.

Leah O’Connell, Camden Swiss, took third spot with 484 points for her S7 time of 1:26.62.

All eyes were on Challis, however, and although she finished fourth in the multi-classification standings with 476 points, lowering the British record again was her target.

Jordan Catchpole finished the event with six wins from six after triumphing in both the MC 200m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke races.

He claimed his fifth victory in the in the Men’s MC 100m Backstroke and was a whisker away from breaking his own S14 British record.

The Team Waveney 22-year-old finished first in 1:01.86 – was only 0.15 seconds adrift of the 1:01.71 he set at the British Para-swimming Championships in April 2019 – to earn 879 points.

Swansea University’s Rhys Davies was second with 826 points after clocking a S14 time of 1:03.14, while Cockermouth’s S9 swimmer Jacob Leach touched in 1:07.55 to earn 748 points.

Catchpole followed that up by clocking 2:02.58 in the 200m Freestyle race as he finished 4.39 seconds ahead of Torfaen’s Dylan Broom who recorded a time of 2:06.97.

Personal best for Abbie

Abbie Wood knocked more than two seconds off her previous personal best with a blistering swim in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley final.

The Loughborough 22-year-old was an impressive 6.71 seconds clear of Millfield’s Lily Booker as she won in 2:09.38, 2.27 seconds faster than the time of 2:11.65 she set at the 2019 British Championships.

On her performances at Manchester, Wood said to British Swimming: “I’m over the moon, really. It’s come as quite a big surprise. Off the back of International Swimming League (ISL), I was hoping to back it up over long course, but there’s always the thing in the back of your head, wondering whether it will happen!

“But long course has really come together for me now, which is really positive”, she said. “I felt because it was the end of the meet, I just had to be on a bit of a mission and go into the 200m IM with tunnel vision, I had a few swims in me that I’d done and though I was hurting a bit, I’m really glad I dragged that out of myself.

Abbie continued: “I actually think the 200m Breaststroke was the highlight for me on Friday, just because it was the most unexpected swim I’ve ever done! I really wasn’t expecting to go anywhere near that time.

“I used to love the breaststroke and I thought it was supposed to be one of my more fun events this weekend because I hadn’t done it in a while – so to post a time like that, I was over the moon.

“Obviously, I was really happy with the 200m IM, but because that’s my main event, while I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was hoping that would happen. With the breaststroke, you could tell by mine and Molly Renshaw’s faces at the end, it was a shock.

Wood spoke of the Olympics: “With the Olympics coming up, everyone was itching to do long-course racing – and I felt so fortunate to be chosen to do the meet.

“Everyone swimming here was so grateful to be here and that it could go ahead, with all the staff working so hard. It was really good, everyone stuck to the rules and respected everything because we were so grateful to be here.”

Second place Booker’s time of 2:16.09 was 0.62 seconds ahead of City of Manchester Aquatics’ Katie Matts, who was third in 2:16.71.

Maisie Summers-Newton triumphed in the battle of the S6 swimmers in the MC 200m Individual Medley.

The Northampton swimmer touched home in 3:00.69 ahead of Hoddesdon’s Grace Harvey (3:01.87) and Camden Swiss’ Ellie Simmonds (3:10.8).

Jacob Peters also set a new personal best time while swimming solo in the Men’s 50m Butterfly.

The Bath National Centre 21-year-old clocked 23.65 to shave 0.09 seconds off his previous best of 23.74 he set at the Amsterdam Euro Cup in December 2019.

Max Litchfield was a big winner as he stormed to victory in the 400m Individual Medley – winning by more than seven seconds.

The Loughborough National Centre 26-year-old clocked 4:16.38 – which was 7.07 faster than his heat time – to leave the rest of the field trailing in his wake.

Nineteen-year-old Dumfries swimmer Charlie Hutchinson finished second in 4:23.72, with Bath University’s Jacob Greenow third in 4:24.17.

Guy doubles up

James Guy added a second win of the weekend as he sneaked home first in the 200m Freestyle in 1:47.19.

Swimming in lane two, Guy, who comfortably won the 200m Butterfly race, beat his Bath team mate Tom Dean by 0.23 seconds, with Loughborough’s Joe Litchfield third in 1:47.60.

Luke Greenbank paced his race perfectly to win the 100m Backstroke race by almost a second.

The 24-year-old, who is one of four swimmers to have been pre-selected for this summer’s Olympic Games, was 0.14 seconds behind Bath’s Brodie Williams at the turn.

But the Loughborough University swimmer showed all his experience in the race for home and he finished in 54.67, with Williams second in a time of 55.73.

Loughborough National Centre swimmer Elliot Clogg took third spot in a highly competitive race in 55.81.

Sweden’s Louise Hansson edged out 2018 British champion Harriet Jones in the 100m Butterfly final.

Hansson, who swims at Loughborough, touched home in 57.83 to win by 0.69 from Jones (58.52), with Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens third un 59.28.

Wycombe District’s Katie Crowhurst was the only competitor in the MC 100m Butterfly final.

After clocking a personal best of 1:19.38 in the heats, S13 swimmer Crowhurst was just outside that mark in the final finishing in 1:20.74.

Honey holds off Chloe’s challenge

Plymouth Leander’s Honey Osrin held off the challenge from City of Manchester Aquatics’ Chloe Golding in the 200m Backstroke.

The 18-year-old worn by 0.77 seconds after finishing in 2:13.13 – which was 0.71 seconds faster than her heat swim.

Golding was almost a second adrift as they turned for home and it proved too much of a deficit to overturn as she clocked 2:13.90.

Winchester’s Imogen Clark was a narrow victor in the 50m Breaststroke as she beat Commonwealth Games champion Sarah Vasey by 0.04 seconds.

Clark finished in 30.76 seconds with City of Derby’s Vasey second in 30.80.

Loughborough’s Molly Renshaw, who equalled the British record in the 200 race on the opening day of the competition, was third in 31.71.

Another Commonwealth Games champion James Wilby clocked 2:10.81 to win the 200m Breaststroke – almost four seconds quicker than his heat swim on 2:14.59.

The Loughborough swimmer was 4.69 seconds ahead of his team-mate Gregory Butler who touched in 2:15.50, with its of Cardiff’s Kyle Booth third in a time of :17.21.

In the Women’s 100m Freestyle, France’s Marie Wattel set a new personal best as she beat runner-up Anna Hopkin by more than 1.5 seconds.

Wattel, who swims at Loughborough, recorded a time of 53.40 with Ealing’s Hopkin next home in 54.99, only 0.03 ahead of third place went to Hansson in 55.02.

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