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Adam Peaty sets fastest time of year at British Swimming Selection Trials

Olympic champion Adam Peaty set the fastest 100m Breaststroke time of the year so far on the opening finals session of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021.

Peaty finished just half a second outside his own world record with 57.39 seconds to claim first place in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke final, as he continues to improve heading into the Olympics.

He now owns the top 20 all-time times in the event and this swim at the iconic London Aquatics Centre was the fifteenth time he has gone under 58 seconds.

His fellow Loughborough teammate James Wilby went under the consideration time for Tokyo, clocking a time of 58.76.

Both Peaty and Wilby have already been pre-selected for Team GB, with the latter set to make his Olympic debut. In third place was the University of Sterling’s Ross Murdoch with his time of 59.51.

On his performance, Peaty said: “I’m happy to come here, I think that’s consolidated the top 20 now, ever.

“For me, the execution was perfect. I’m way ahead of where I should be now so I can take a lot of confidence into the summer, the Olympics, and have Great Britain on my back and show the world that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

When asked how being a father motivates him, Peaty added: “Like nothing else, it’s unreal, every day he gets older, every day you get more motivated. It’s great to be a father and hopefully be an inspiration for him when he grows up.”

Bird ‘over the moon’ with performance

First and second place in the Men’s 400m Freestyle were filled by Bath swimmers Kieran Bird and Tom Dean.

Bird put on an outstanding performance, swimming five seconds under his lifetime best to finish on top and seven tenths under the consideration time with 3:46.00.

Bird said: “I’m just over the moon that the work from all the years that I’ve been swimming has come together. So, so happy with that.

“Thank you to mum and dad, just for all the years that they’ve helped me and everyone at home, everyone who’s helped me along the years.”

The time which secured second place for Dean was 3:47.48, closely followed by Swansea’s Dan Jervis in third place (3:47.61).

Willmott under consideration time

Aimee Willmott impressed in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley, with her winning time of 4:35.70 dipping under the target for Tokyo consideration.

Millfield’s Lily Booker was in second place after touching the wall in 4:43.40 with Aberdeen’s Hannah Miley taking third in 4:45.00.

Willmott said: “It was tough. I knew it was going to be tough going into the race kind of me versus the clock so I just really tried to get into my own race and I thought if I’m dying but I’ve gone for it and I miss the consideration time then so be it, but I had to give myself a chance.

“It’s kind of a strange one because after Rio I didn’t think I’d still be swimming towards Tokyo and then in another year so it’s been like a five year cycle so it’s a really strange one. Obviously I’m really happy to have swam under the time and fingers crossed it’s enough and I can finish on a high in Tokyo.”

‘Good to be back where I was’ says Anderson

Bath swimmer Freya Anderson was well under the consideration time (1:57.20) for Tokyo in the Women’s 200m Freestyle, touching the wall in 1:56.80.

Abbie Wood of Loughborough finished just shy of the consideration time, clocking a time of 1:57.48 while Edinburgh’s Lucy Hope swam a strong race to take third (1:57.65).

Anderson said: “It feels really good to get under the time, obviously I wanted a bit faster but it’s still good to get into the 1:56’s. I think my PB was from about a year ago so it’s just good to be back where I was.

“I’ve got a few days rest now so that’s quite good. The 100 is on Saturday so hopefully just get the heats done and then see what I can get in the final.”

Record breaking swim from Scott

Duncan Scott set a new British record in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley to beat the Litchfield brothers.

Scott swam a superb time of 1:55.90 to win the race, smashing the previous record of 1:56.64.

Joe Litchfield was also under the Tokyo consideration time as he finished in second place with 1:57.74, ahead of his brother Max (1:58.43).

On achieving a consideration time, Joe said: “It was really good, I’m so happy with that.

“It’s kind of been like a long time coming, I think last season obviously trials getting cancelled, thought I had a good time getting into that but then obviously we’ve had to wait a year and it’s all come out in the first day here and I’m really chuffed.”

Close finish between Jones and Stephens

It was a close finish in the Women’s 100m Butterfly between Cardiff’s Harriet Jones and Plymouth’s Laura Stephens.

Both Jones and Stephens set new personal bests in qualifying but it was the Welsh athlete who claimed first place in 57.79 seconds, again lowering her lifetime best.

Stephens was just outside the consideration time as she finished in second with 57.98. In third place was Alys Thomas of Swansea University (58.63).