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Greenow sets new PB as he edges ‘nail-biter’ of a race to land national title

Jacob Greenow set a new personal best as he landed gold by the narrowest of margins in a ‘nail-biter’ of a race at the Swim England National Winter Championships.

The Bath University 22-year-old edged out Loughborough University’s Charlie Hutchison by 0.04 seconds in the Men’s Open 400m Individual Medley final at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

Greenow was pushed all the way by 19-year-old Hutchison but touched home first in 4:07.99.

Hutchison secured silver with his time of 4:08.33 with his Loughborough University team-mate Ben Harrison third in 4:12.22.

After his win, Greenow said: “I’m not always best at finishing on the freestyle so I knew I had to get a decent gap between me and Charlie.

“I just got my head down for the last 10 metres, didn’t breathe, just tried to get to the wall as fast as I could.

“It was a big PB so I’m really happy with that. I wanted to get under 4:10 because I’ve not raced it for a while and I was really happy with the time.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I touched the wall but I thought it would be quick.

“I’ve been trying to stick to a process-based race plan and just remember what I want to do rather than worrying about noise around me so I think it went well and I was happy with how I executed the race.

“It’s my first gold at these championships, any year, so I’m really happy with that.

“It’s always nice to stand on top of the podium in such a high-quality field.

“I’ve raced Charlie a lot over the last few years and I know what a strong competitor he is. We’ve had a lot of battles and you never know who is going to come out on top so I’ve got to give it my all every time and hope it’s me.”

Hutchison explained that it is always ‘something special’ to him to stand on the podium at the national championships.

He said: “It was a bit of a nail-biter towards the end. I know my freestyle is a strength of mine at the moment so I was really leaning on that.

“He [Jacob] had a good lead on the breaststroke. All I was trying to do was chase that boy down. It was a close one but he got me in the end but it was a great race.

“He’s a great guy, we’ve been racing each other for a couple of years now. That was a good one, we obviously need each other to push, and neither of us probably wouldn’t have gone that fast without each other.

“You can’t complain with silver, standing on the podium at nationals is always something special to me. Obviously silver is not the colour you wanted but who really cares when you’re swimming that fast with your mates.”

In the Men’s Junior 400m Individual Medley final, Reuben Rowbotham-Keating continued his dominance to take his place on top of the podium.

His gold medal-winning time was 4:20.82, almost two seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Finishing in second place was Derventio’s Finley Bunhejee (4:22.41) with Taunton Deane’s Oscar Barlow (4:24.02) taking home the bronze medal.

Keegan crowned 400m IM champion

Loughborough University’s Lily Booker was crowned the winner of the Women’s Open 400m Individual Medley in 2019 and was the fastest qualifier in 2021.

But it was City of Sheffield’s Amber Keegan who put on an impressive display to take gold this time around in a time of 4:34.26.

The 24-year-old led at the halfway stage of the race and the distance only increased in the final 100m.

Booker’s solid swim earned her the silver medal in 4:39.16 and Amelia Monaghan, also from the City of Sheffield, won the bronze medal in a time of 4:42.50.

The junior medallists were all part of the open final, with City of Leeds swimmer Lara Thomson taking gold in 4:44.71.

Evie Dilley continued her medal success at this meet with silver in 4:47.91, followed by another City of Leeds swimmer, Leah Schlossan, who claimed bronze in 4:49.20.

Bath NC one-two finish

Team-mates Jacob Peters and Matthew Richards took the gold and silver medals in the Men’s Open 50m Butterfly final.

Peters, 21, was the gold medal winner in a time of 22.65 seconds with Richards less than half-a-second behind as he touched in 23.07 for silver.

City of Manchester Aquatics swimmer Jamie Ingram was the third on the podium in a time of 23.45.

There was a new British record set in the Junior event as Nicholas Finch of Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club stormed to victory.

His time of 24.09 broke a three-year record previously held by Matthew Richards who clocked 24.25 in Swansea back in 2018.

Finishing second to Finch was Beckenham’s James Cleaver (24.78) while Millfield’s Soloman Williams (24.98) took bronze.

Georgina gets the gold

The Women’s Open 50m Butterfly final saw Derventio’s Georgina Pryor claim the victory in 26.19 seconds.

Following closely behind was City of Leeds swimmer Isabelle Goodwin, who clocked a time of 26.48. City of Manchester Aquatics’ Jessica Calderbank placed third in 26.62.

Leah Whittaker of Mount Kelly took the Junior gold medal after her 27.16 time in the open final.

The junior silver was awarded to Whittaker’s teammate, Hollie Widdows, who clocked 26.95, with  Plymouth Leander’s Alma Dahl (27.43) the bronze medallist.