Thrilling final in prospect at National Winter Championships

The Men’s 100m Individual Medley A final promises to be a thriller after the top five qualifiers were separated by only 0.40 seconds during the day one heats at the Swim England National Winter Championships.

Dearne Valley’s Joe Litchfield was the fastest qualifier as he touched home in 54.28 but he was closely followed by Loughborough University’s James Brown (54.41), Canada’s Yuri Kisil (54.59), Loughborough University’s Brian O’Sullivan (54.66) and City of Manchester Aquatics’ Sam Horrocks (54.68).

It was a close call for the next five positions as well as City of Manchester Aquatics’ Thomas Paine (56.05), Loughborough University’s Joshua Thompson (56.14), Putteridge’s Brandon Nabarro (56.27), Mount Kelly’s Alessandro Burdisso (56.34) and Warrington’s Matthew Domville (56.51) all booked their place in the A Final.

Max off to a flyer

There was a successful start to the championships for Litchfield’s brother, Max, who was fastest in his 400m Freestyle heat.

The Dearne Valley swimmer was 3.19 seconds faster than anyone else in the race as he touched home in 3:42.29.

City of Sheffield’s Jay Lelliott was second quickest, in 3:45.48, while Loughborough University’s Tobias Robinson was third in 3:45.49.

Also qualifying for the A Final was Bangor IRL’s Jack McMIllan (3:45.97) with three Bath University team-mates Kieran Bird (3:46.85), Tom Derbyshire (3:47.84) and Luke Turley (3:49.23) finishing fifth, sixth and seventh quickest respectively.

City of Sheffield’s Samuel Budd (3:49.23), teamipswich’s Regan Lloyd (3:49.51) and Hatfield Nathan Hughes (3:49.60) also booked their place in the final showdown.

O’Connor reaches third final

In the Women’s 100m Freestyle heats, Canada’s Kayla Sanchez was fastest in a time of 52.01.

Loughborough University’s Marie Wattel claimed the second quickest qualifying spot in 52.69, while Ealing’s Anna Hopkin touched home in 52.78 to finished third fastest ahead of Canada’s Peneloppe Oleksiak (53.87).

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor reached her third final of the championships with a time of 54.26, and she will also be racing against her Bath University team-mate Georgia Coates (54.65).

Loughborough University’s Emily Barclay (54.67), City of Sheffield’s Kate Clifton (54.94), Loughborough University’s Emily Crane (55.27) and Canada’s Hanna Henderson (55.38) also reached the A Final.