Team England swimmers book finals spot on first day at Winter Champs

Swimming News

Team England’s Commonwealth Games swimmers showed their class during the heats on the opening day of the Swim England National Winter Championships.

James Guy, James Wilby and Laura Stephens were three of the squad that competed on Australia’s Gold Coast earlier this year and they comfortably  booked places in their respective finals at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

Bath University’s Guy finished fastest in the Men’s 100m Butterfly in 51.82, with Dearne Valley’s Joe Litchfield, who was also a member of Team England, second quickest in 52.09.

Plymouth Leander’s Edoardo Valsecchi (52.32), Bath University’s Calum Jarvis (52.52), Loughborough University’s Kevin Wallbank (52.66), Stockport Metro’s Thomas Howdle (52.67), Plymouth Leander’s Thomas Beeley (52.73), Canada’s Mack Darragh (53.07), Warrington’s Matthew Dornville (53.22) and Northampton’s Edward Mildred (53.29) all reached the A Final.

Wilby cruises to victory in Men’s 50m Breaststroke

Wilby was the only person to finish inside 27 seconds in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist finished in a time of 26.78 – 0.27 seconds ahead of Putteridge’s Lawrence Palmer who was the second fastest home in 27.05.

City of Oxford’s David Murphy was 0.10 seconds further adrift to claim the third quickest time in 27.15.

Also qualifying for the A Final were City of Bristol’s Marcus Gardiner (27.58), City of Sheffield’s Oliver Crosby (27.77), Portsmouth’s Neil Redman (27.83), the Loughborough University duo of David Bloomfield and Edward Baxter, who both clocked 28.03, East Leeds’ Richard Eyre (28.26) and Hastings’ Jean-Jaques Choron (28.36).

Stephens has her eye on the 200m Butterfly crown

In the Women’s 200m Butterfly, Plymouth Leander’s Stephens was marginally quicker than her Commonwealth Games team-mate Emily Large.

Stephens was the fastest qualifier in 2:07.79 but Newcastle’s Large was only 0.09 adrift in 2:07.88.

Canada’s Peneloppe Oleksiak was third quickest in 2:10.33.

Wirral Metro’s Tori Sopp, (2:11.01), City of Sheffield’s Isobel Grant (2:11.10), Plymouth Leander’s Sophie Freeman (2:11.46), Loughborough University’s Abbie Wood (2:12.90), City of Leicester’s Maisie Elliott (2:13.05) all qualified for the A Final with  StPeters AUS’ Sharni Robinson and City of Birmingham’s Caitlin Hubbard took the last spots after both clocking 2:13.49.

Crane fastest in Women’s 50m Backstroke heats

Meanwhile, Emily Crane was the fastest qualifier in the Women’s 50m Backstroke.

She recorded a time of 27.59 to take top spot by 0.12 seconds from City of Manchester Aquatics’ Chloe Golding, who clocked 27.71.

City of Coventry’s Lauren Cox (27.93) was the only other swimmer to finish inside 28 seconds.

Thanet Swim’s Katie Latham (28.01), City of Sheffield’s Lily Boseley (28.10), Nova Centurion’s Courteney Price (28.24), Dearne Valley’s Debbie Cocking (28.28), Loughborough University’s Mollie Allen (28.30), Birmingham University’s Jessica Shaw (28.34) and Canada’s Hanna Henderson (28.44) also qualified for the A Final.