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Hibbott and Faulkner set up 400m Freestyle showdown

Less than a tenth of a second separated Holly Hibbott and Eleanor Faulkner as they set up a 400m Freestyle showdown on the final day of the Swim England National Winter Championships 2017 in Sheffield.

Both swimmers have already topped the podium once at this year’s Winter Nationals, with Faulkner lowering her PB to claim the 200m Freestyle title and Hibbott landing the 800m Free crown a day later.

British champion Hibbott led the way in the morning heats, stopping the clock on 4:14.28, while double Olympian Faulkner came home in 4:14.34.

The pressure will be off in tonight’s final, with both swimmers already selected for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

In contrast, four of the other five finals tonight will see young English athletes aiming to secure consideration times for the Gold Coast 2018.

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Litchfield and Stephens chasing consideration times

City of Sheffield’s Joe Litchfield won World University Games bronze over 200m IM this summer and clocked the fastest heat swim of the morning in 2:03.20.

He is looking to lower his PB 1:59.36 to rubber stamp his place on the team to join older brother Max, fourth over 200m IM at both Rio 2016 and this year’s World Champs.

Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens has already won the 100m Butterfly title with a PB 58.70 in Sheffield, and was fastest into the 200m Fly final.

The 18-year old touched in 2:11.71, and will target 2:10.19 to put herself in the selection picture for Team England.

Teammate Tom Fannon has just 0.29 seconds to take off his heat swim to make the frame over 50m Freestyle, having booked lane four for the final in 22.41.

Edinburgh Uni’s 100m Free champion David Cumberlidge, already under the consideration time this season with a PB 22.03 at the British Summer Champs, was second through on 22.44.

Cross and Lenderyou lead way to backstroke finals

In the 200m Backstroke, Loughborough University’s 50m Back champion Dan Cross was fastest through in 1:59.96.

Cross and 16-year old Nick Pyle, second fastest in a PB 2:00.08, are aiming for a Commonwealth consideration time of 1:58.67.

Newcastle Swim Team’s Phoebe Lenderyou led the way in the 50m Back on a PB 29.17 while City of Sunderland (4:01.68) and Mount Kelly (4:24.10) booked lane four for tonight’s men’s and women’s 4x100m Medley Relays respectively.

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