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Freya Anderson shines to win first senior British title

Freya Anderson landed her first senior British title with an impressive victory in the 100m Freestyle on day four of the British Swimming Championships 2017 in Sheffield.

The 16-year old Ellesmere College Titans swimmer came through an enthralling battle to the wall to land gold in a PB 54.35, with Bath University’s defending champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor just 0.02 seconds back.

“It feels crazy – I didn’t expect to be British champion, especially swimming in that field,” said Anderson.

“I didn’t even know what was happening in the race. I had my head down and wasn’t focusing on anyone else, only to get to the wall first.

“It was a rough start to the season being injured so that time is really good for me. I’m excited to see what I can do once I get back into full training.”

Anderson had already passed Fran Halsall’s 10-year old British age group record in the heats in Sheffield, booking lane four for the final with a 54.40 effort.

And the teenager, who won the 100m Free title at last year’s European Junior Championship, showed maturity beyond her years to clinch gold in the final.

O’Connor, Olympic silver medallist in the 200m Individual Medley, burst out of the blocks, turning first in 26.31 with Anderson a full 0.4 seconds back in fifth at the half-way stage.

But the teenager, coached by Alan Bircher, paced her race to perfection, coming through the field to hit the front in the final metres.

Ellie Faulkner lowers PB to capture bronze

While O’Connor, whose turn in the 200m IM comes tomorrow, was shy of her 53.81 PB in second, Ellie Faulkner broke 55 seconds for the first time to land bronze.

The City of Sheffield swimmer is better known for exploits over longer distances, although she won the 200m Free title on the opening day at Ponds Forge.

And Faulkner added her second medal of the competition with a 54.89 effort. The time moved her up to ninth in the all-time senior British rankings, with Anderson remaining fifth in the same list.

Wilby and Willis reach 200m Breast podium

English swimmers James Wilby and Andrew Willis both reached the podium in the final race of the day, the 200m Breaststroke.

Loughborough University’s Wilby claimed his second medal of the competition, adding to his bronze in the 100m Breaststroke with silver over twice the distance.

The 23-year old missed out on breaking 2:10 by the narrowest of margins as he came home in a PB 2:10.01 behind Scotland’s gold medallist Ross Murdoch (2:09.15).

Bath University’s defending champion Willis held off the attention of Scotland’s Craig Benson (2:10.56) to claim the third spot on the podium in 2:10.52.

  • Click here to view full results from the British Swimming Championships 2017.