Manchester International Meet: Challis takes down British record mark again

Ellie Challis lowered her own Women’s S3 50m Backstroke British record for the second time in a day during the first finals session of the 2021 Manchester International Swim Meet.

After setting a new best in this morning’s heats, she posted a sizzling 55.61 to take more than three seconds off her 2019 time of 58.91.

While speaking to British Swimming, Challis said: “I was very pleased with the results, definitely. I didn’t really know what to expect coming in – I felt confident in myself, but I didn’t know what to expect from this new experience, social distancing, one-way round and everything. But it went really well and I was so happy with it.

She added: “I am so happy to be competing again – I just needed an official time – 11 months without competition isn’t the best. I was glad to have this morning’s heats coming into the finals.

On her events for tomorrow, Challis said: “I have the 50m Butterfly tomorrow and then 50m Breaststroke and 100m Freestyle on Sunday too. I am confident going into the weekend, so we’ll just see what happens in the heats and then hopefully improve that going into the final.

The action kicked off National Centre Bath swimmer Holly Hibbott powering her way to a win in the Women’s 400m Freestyle, touching in 4:11.97 ahead of second-place Leah Crisp and third place Alice Dearing.

Hibbott is one of a host of British swimmers that recently competed at the International Swimming League in Budapest. That being a short course meet, this is the first time any of the athletes racing this weekend will have competed in a long course competition in almost a year.

The women’s MC 400m freestyle saw Maisie Summers-Newton and Ellie Simmonds battle it out for second place behind winner of the event, Zara Mullooly (4:44.65).

Simmonds just got the touch over Summers-Newton, who finished in 5:29.94 and 5:30.13, respectively.

After an impressive swim of 3:52.44 this morning, Felix Auboeck shaved two seconds off that mark to win the Men’s 400m Freestyle in 3:48.04.

University of Swansea swimmer and first-seed into the final, Daniel Jervis, finished second behind his competitor in 3:50.20, out-touching third-place finisher Max Litchfield by only 0.01 of a second.

The Men’s MC 400m Freestyle delivered an exciting race with Jonathan Booth, Jacob Leach and Olive Hynd all in the mix for the top spot until the last 100m.

It was Leach who held off the rest of the field, finishing in 4:29.82.

Pre-selected Greenbank on form

Luke Greenbank, who was recently announced as being pre-selected for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games this summer, took the Men’s 200m Backstroke in 1:56.33.

He was less than a second off his personal best time of 1:55.85, which he set during the World Championships held in Gwangju, Korea in 2019.

Butterfly veteran Laura Stephens led the field in the 200m Butterfly, getting to the wall first in a time of 2:08.88.

The only swimmer to dip under the 29-second mark this morning, Georgia Davies continued her winning streak by touching first in the Women’s 50m Backstroke.

The Welsh swimmer, and member of professional swim team Energy Standard, posted a time of 28.56, winning the event by only 0.04 ahead of Loughborough’s Lousie Hansson.