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Renshaw breaks British record and is aiming to 'be on the podium' in Tokyo

The Women’s 200m Breaststroke delivered some of the standout performances of the session with Molly Renshaw setting a new British record in a time of 2:20.89.

This swim comes after Renshaw equalled the previous British record in the same event while swimming at the Manchester International Meet in February.

On her performances and season so far, Renshaw said: “I knew how well I was swimming from Manchester so I was excited to just taper down and see what I could do. I’ve had bad luck with Olympic trials in the past so I’m glad that is out of the way and I’ve managed to go the consideration time.

“Kicking off the season with the ISL really helped – there was a worry with it, whether we would miss out on training for six weeks but I think having that race experience against the top in the world really worked for the whole group and we all came back in great shape. So starting the year off like that really helped.”

‘There were times when I was ready to hang up my goggles’

Fellow Loughborough swimmer Abbie Wood also dipped under the former British Record time (2:22.08) in that event to come second behind her teammate in 2:21.69.

That mark also puts her under the consideration time for this summer’s Games, on which she said: “Yeah, it’s such a relief. After yesterday I wasn’t gutted because I expected a bit more from myself so today I was just focusing on the race and me and Molly just push each other so it has worked out well.

Speaking on the break-out year she has had so far, Wood said: “I just think trusting in my coaches, I never used to be a big fan of the gym but I feel like I’ve really bought into the whole programme now – finally. It’s been a good five years coming and I’m glad I stuck at it as long as I did because there were definitely some times when I was ready to hang up my goggles but I’m glad I didn’t now!”

Wood has already achieved the consideration time in the 200 IM after her performances in Manchester, and will race that event on the penultimate day of racing in London.

She said: “I’m just excited to race again, the less I think about it the better. yesterday I think I just focused on the time too much whereas today I focused on the race and I just need to do the same on Saturday.

Renshaw highlighted how special it was to reach that all-important Tokyo mark alongside her friend and teammate: “She [Abbie Wood] trains so hard, she is probably one of the hardest trainers I know so to be able to do that with her alongside me it’s amazing.

She added that a podium finish is most definitely on her mind ahead of what will be her second Olympic Games: “I’d just like to improve on what I did at the last Olympics. Going there I was over the moon with making a final and I kind of want to take that next step this year and aim for medals and be on the podium.”

‘The speed is there’

Touching in under world record pace at the 50-metre mark and maintaining it to the halfway point, James Guy had an outstanding performance in the Men’s 200m Butterfly.

He had a blistering first 100 metres, posting a final time of 1:55.20 – which is 0.25 under the Olympic consideration time of 1:55.45 and positions him as the fifth-fastest time in the event this year. In second place was Sheffield’s Jay Lelliott, who swam a lifetime best of 1:56.76. Northampton’s Ed Mildred filled third sport in 1:58.04.

When asked about making the consideration cut, Guy said: “It’s nice to come here and do the 200 butterfly, I haven’t done one like that in a while. The time wasn’t really in my head because it’s not my main event but to go the qualifying time is a great start to the week.

“I was talking with my coach before and the plan was to go out 54.0, going 53.0 shows that the speed is there so hopefully I’ll have a good 100 as well.”

Bird backs up day one performance

A stacked Men’s 800m Freestyle saw Daniel Jarvis, Kieran Bird, Toby Robinson and Luke Turley battling it out from start to finish. Jervis started to pull ahead at the 600m mark to ultimately take the win in 7:50.33.

Bath’s Kieren Bird had a steller swim again in this event after coming back hard at Jervis in the final 75 metres. He touched in second in 7:50.75, after winning the Men’s 400m Freestyle on the first day of competition in 3:46.00 – taking five seconds off his personal best in the process and slipping under the consideration time for the Tokyo Olympics (3:46.78).

In third place was fellow Bath swimmer Luke Turley who out-touched Toby Robinson for third, posting 7:54.27.

Leah Crisp led the Women’s 800m Freestyle from the start, with the University of Bath National Centre swimmer posting a time of 8:44.67 to win that race.

Loughborough University swimmer Emily Clarke held the pace alongside Crisp, touching in second in 8:52.42. A close battle for third resulted in Lauren Wetherell of Ellesmere College getting her hand on the wall first in 8:56.58.

Teammates under consideration time

Kathleen Dawson continued her recent strong form in her main event, the Women’s 100m Backstroke. The University of Stirling swimmer posted the second-fastest time in the world this year in 58.24 – alongside her was teammate Cassie Wild who also dipped under the consideration in 59.51.

Third went to backstroke veteran Georgia Davies, who posted 1:00.01 to complete a trio of Olympic consideration times in this event.

The men’s equivalent saw a Loughborough National Centre 1-2-3 with Joe Litchfield coming out on top in 54.04. Behind him was Luke Greenbank in 54.12, who is one of four swimmers already pre-selected for this summer’s Games.

Elliot Clogg touched in third with 54.65 to complete the top three finishers in the event.