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Anna exceeds expectations as she storms to National Winter Championships gold

Anna Hopkin shattered her 50m Freestyle personal best for the second time in a day on her way to the Swim England National Winter Championships title.

The Ealing swimmer had knocked 0.24 seconds off her previous fastest time as she clocked 24.13 in the heats.

And the 22-year-old shaved a further 0.43 seconds off that as she touched home in 23.70 ahead of High Performance Centre Ontario’s Kayla Sanchez.

Hopkin said: “It’s amazing. I was hoping to go 23 but 23.70? I’m really happy with that race – it exceeded my expectations by far.

“My turn wasn’t ideal this morning and I knew it was something that had to work a lot better tonight. I couldn’t see Kayla but it was a case of putting my head down and getting to the wall.

“My main goal is long course but I hope this translates well to that. It gives me a lot of confidence for next year.”

Sanchez had the consolation of setting her second junior world record of the weekend with her time of 23.98 and she also picked up a commemorative silver medal to add to her tally for the championships.

The open silver was won by Loughborough University’s Emily Barclay in 24.46, while Thanet Swim’s Katie Latham took the open bronze in a time of 25.01.

Fourteen-year-old Chiara Tommasello, of City of Manchester Aquatics, was the junior gold medallist after recording a time of 25.70.

Anaconda’s Elena Dewhurst, 15, was second in 25.84, Hamilton UAE’s Victoria Deona Bergeli, 15, was presented with a commemorative bronze medal after finishing in 25.90, while Hatfield’s Jessica Woodward, 15, took the junior third place as she clocked 26.16.

Wilby at his best to claim another gold

Commonwealth Games champion James Wilby also set his second personal best of the day as he cruised to gold in the 100m Breaststroke.

The 25-year-old Loughborough University swimmer knocked 0.20 seconds off the time he set in the morning heats as he finished in 57.61.

That was 0.58 seconds ahead of City of Oxford’s David Murphy, who won the silver medal in 58.19, while Loughborough University’s Edward Baxter was third in a time of 59.00.

The junior gold medal went to Millfield’s William Ellington, 15, in 1:03.83, York City’s Jason Robinson, 15, was runner-up in 1:04.47, while Northampton’s Harvey Freeman, 14, won the bronze in 1:04.61.

Max pips his brother to 200m IM crown

Brothers Max and Joe Litchfield shared the top two spots on the 200m Individual Medley podium.

The top three all set new personal bests with Dearne Valley swimmer Max knocking 1.21 seconds off his previous record as he clocked 1:53.21.

Joe was 2.03 seconds behind his older brother in 1:55.24, 1.74 seconds quicker than his previous best he set at the BUCS Short Course Swimming Championships in November 2017.

Bath University’s Thomas Dean took the bronze medal in 1:55.73, 1.91 seconds faster than his old personal best of 1:57.64.

Max said: “It was another really good race and I’m pleased with that. I was hoping for a lot quicker maybe but it’s a short course meet, the start of the season, so I’ll take what I can get right now.

“I’ve been working on my breaststroke in training and hopefully that’s paid off in that race. I’ve got the 400m IM tomorrow and hopefully I can put in another race then and finish on a high.”

Golding sets PB on way to title

In the Women’s 200m Backstroke, Chloe Golding was triumphant by more than 1.60 seconds.

The City of Manchester Aquatics swimmer knocked 2.04 seconds off her personal best time as she finished in 2:04.57 to win the gold medal.

Bath University’s Jessica Fullalove was second in 2:06.17, while Loughborough University’s Charlotte Evans was the bronze medallist after clocking 2:06.86.

Plymouth Leander’s Honey Osrin, 15, was the junior champion after recording a time of 2:10.58.

Thirteen-year-old Caitlin Ebbage, of Tonbridge, was second in a time of 2:11.23, with City of Sheffield’s Issey-May Reeves, 14, third, in 2:15.00.

Robinson rampant in 1500m success

In the Men’s 1500m Freestyle race, Loughborough University’s Tobias Robinson was only 0.38 seconds outside his personal best as he won gold – while there was a titanic battle for the silver and bronze medals.

Robinson clocked 14:39.84 to win the race by almost nine seconds but he just missed out on breaking his best time of 14:39.46 he set at the National Winter Championships in 2015.

Nathan Hughes grabbed the silver medal from the grasp of Tom Derbyshire as only 0.04 seconds separated them.

Hatfield’s Hughes recorded a time of 14:48.50 with Bath University’s Derbyshire touching home in 14:48.54.

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