Joe Litchfield seals 200m Individual Medley bronze in Taiwan

Joe Litchfield clocked a PB to seal 200m Individual Medley bronze at the 2017 Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan.

The City of Sheffield swimmer – who studies at Sheffield Hallam University – beat the two minute marker for the first time in the final.

He touched in 1:59.36 to finish behind experienced Japanese pair Kosuke Hagino (1:57.35) and Daiya Sato (1:58.73).

Both Hagino and Sato had come to Taiwan after winning individual medals at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

In contrast, Litchfield is yet to make his senior debut at European or World level. However, his first call up might not be far away.

As well as being a lifetime best, his effort in the final in Taiwan was the second fastest by an English swimmer in 2017, and under the selection time for next year’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.

Only Litchfield’s older brother Max has been faster this season, setting a British record 1:56.86 to finish fourth at the World Championships.

An absolute honour to be on the podium

“To be on the podium with two of the best in the world is an absolute honour really,” said Litchfield, who won the European Junior title on his 18th birthday last year.

“I’m chuffed really, the medal was a bonus. I wanted the Commonwealth time which was 1:59.7, so that was really the main goal and then to finish on the podium is fantastic.

“It’s great, that’s now two medals for the swimmers, it’s not just a medal representing GB, but also Sheffield Hallam.

“I’ve got to give a shout out to them because they have been a great support for me, they’ve given me a huge chunk of money to be here, so it’s great to represent Hallam and GB.”

Lelliott and Robinson in 1500m Free final

Jay Lelliott, who won 400m Freestyle silver on the opening day in Taiwan, was back in action on day three in the 1500m Free.

The Bath University swimmer finished fifth in the final in 15:06.51. Loughborough University’s Tobias Robinson was also in the final, finishing seventh in 15:11.46.

Image credit: British Swimming Twitter