Peaty and Willis warm up with golds in VichyJuly 4, 2016
English breaststroke stars Adam Peaty and Andrew Willis won gold medals at the French Open in Vichy as they continued their preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
City of Derby’s triple world champion Peaty doubled up with victories in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke, clocking times of 27.02 and 59.41 in the respective finals.
Bracknell & Wokingham swimmer Willis finished sixth behind Peaty in the 100m as well as completing an English clean sweep of the men’s breaststroke titles with victory in the 200m Breast in 2:12.34.
Willis’ training partner at Bath University, Chris Walker-Hebborn, also reached the podium in Vichy with silver medals over both 50m and 100m Backstroke.
The 26-year old improved on his efforts from last month’s Mare Nostrum tour to clock 25.31 in the 50m final, while he came home in 54.92 to repeat the result over 100m.
Fran Halsall and Candice Hall win silver and bronze
Loughborough University’s Fran Halsall was the fourth English member of the Olympic squad to reach the podium in France, claiming silver in the 50m Freestyle in 24.42.
Candice Hall was the only other English medallist at the meet, winning bronze in the 200m Backstroke, as well as making three other finals.
The City of Leicester swimmer lowered her personal best from last month’s ASA East Midlands Championships with a 2:14.25 effort in the 200m Back, as well as finishing seventh in both the 200m and 400m IM and eighth in the 200m Fly.
Ellesmere College Titans’ Chloe Golding was just one place behind Hall in the 200m Back, finishing fourth in 2:15.54, while the 17-year old was fifth in the 100m Back and eighth in the 50m Back.
Connie Dean took her PB down to 4:45.94 as she finished just one place off the podium in the 400m IM, while the Maidenhead swimmer also finished sixth in the 200m IM and eighth in the 200m Breast.
Newcastle’s Georgia Darwent also sealed a hat-trick of top-eight finishes, finishing fifth in the 400m Free, sixth in the 800m Free and sixth in the 200m Back.
The impressive list of English female ‘A’ finalists in France was completed by Stockport Metro’s Lucy McKenzie, who finished fifth in the 400m IM, Woking’s Hannah Burvill, seventh in the 100m Back, and City of Sunderland’s Lucy Ellis, who was seventh in the 400m Free.
Loughborough University’s Daniel Cross was the only other English male finalist of the weekend, finishing seventh in the 200m Back.