British record for Hopkin as more GB swimmers storm into the semi-finalsJuly 28, 2021
It was another fantastic heats session for the Team GB athletes as Anna Hopkin opened up the day with a new British record of 52.75 in the Women’s 100m Freestyle.
Swimming in the second to last heat, Anna Hopkin put on an impressive display to finish in third place in what was a stacked field.
She takes down Fran Halsall’s previous British record which stood for just under 12 years.
After powering down the first 50 metres, Hopkin was just pipped to the wall by her neighbouring competitor Siobhan Haughey but maintained her speed throughout the entire race.
Speaking after her race, she said: “I was looking at the names in my heat and it could have been an Olympic final it was so stacked. I just didn’t focus on what anyone else was doing and just swam my own race.
“I felt really good coming down the second 50, I’m pretty surprised with the time though but it was amazing.”
Describing how she will prepare for tomorrow’s semi-final, Hopkin said: “I’ll get back, have a massage, have some food and try to get a relatively early night. It’s just about managing the emotion and trying to reset for tomorrow.
“It’s difficult, your head is kind of spinning just thinking about what’s to come but you just have to try and do any tactics you can to bring yourself down.”
Her teammate and fellow freestyle-specialist Freya Anderson also qualified into the semi-finals in 14th position.
Her time of 53.61 was off her personal best, however, she welcomes another chance to race in the semi-final.
“Knowing that I have another chance is a bit of a relief,” she said. “Hopefully, I can improve on that time and my tactics for the race – lots of stuff to improve.
“The heats are pretty stacked, especially the heat before me so I knew I had to do a good time to even make it back so I’m happy.”
Greenbank dominates men’s backstroke field
A domineering performance from Luke Greenbank in the Men’s 200m Backstroke saw him winning his heat by over two seconds and coming within touching distance of his own British record.
The Loughborough National Centre-trained athlete touched in a time of 1:54.63 – just 0.20 off his own lifetime best and record mark of 1:54.43 which he set at the European Championships in May.
Greenbank’s time also sits as the fifth fastest in the world this year and puts him in first position ahead of tomorrow’s semi-finals.
On his performance, Greenbank said: “I’m really chuffed with that – it felt really controlled, comfortable and there’s definitely more in there, I’m looking forward to the semi tomorrow.
“The mood in camp is incredible at the moment, it has really made me want to get out there, get in on that and hopefully come away with a medal,” he said.
“I don’t think we’d be as strong as we are today without The National Lottery support, and I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I’m in without that funding and help from The National Lottery, it’s so important.”
Fellow Team GB athlete Brodie Williams clocked a time of 1:57.48 to finish fifth overall in his heat. He also progresses to the semi-finals after making his Olympic debut in Tokyo.
“It was really good,” he said. “I think there are a lot of positives I can take from that and move on tomorrow. Coming in 12th, get an outside lane, no one will see me, will they?!
“It’s nice to do my main event here at the Olympics. It’s really inspirational being part of this team, watching the boys do what they do is incredible. To even share an apartment with them is a privilege, I’m all for them.”
Renshaw, Wood secure spots in semis
Britain’s women were right up at the top of the field in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke and both progress to the next round.
Renshaw’s time of 2:22.99 is off her own British record mark of 2:20.89 which she set earlier this year but qualifies her in sixth position into the semi-finals.
Speaking after her race, she said: “It’s nice to get in and race. The heats so far are quite fast so I knew that I had to be on it to a certain extent but I’m really happy with that, my counts were quite low so I can push it on tomorrow.
“It’s nice to be able to swim fast in the heat and move it back on again,” she added. Her teammate Abbie Wood also progresses after posting a time of 2:24.13.
She will come into the semi-final of this event after narrowly missing out on an Olympic medal in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley. Her swim was a lifetime best that proves she is on top form ahead of what will be a competitive field to beat in the 200m Breaststroke.
Scott ‘ready to fight’ for 200IM final spot
Duncan Scott says he is ‘ready to fight’ for a spot in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final after progressing in joint-fifth place to the semi-finals.
He clocked a time of 1:57.39 after what has been a golden few hours for the Scotsman after he became an Olympic champion as part of the 4x200m Freestyle Relay.
He said: “It was always going to be a tough turnaround after this morning, an emotional thing but also because it’s a lot of 200m races on the trot.
“I didn’t want to be complacent and be on the wrong side of the cut. I’m happy with that swim, it’s going to be hard tomorrow morning!
“After the 200m Freestyle final, I shifted towards the 200m IM – the 4x200m Freestyle Relay was really good fun, but it’s easy to get up to being a part of a great relay.
“The number of times at international meets I’ve done tough back-to-backs, it’s been a great experience for a week like this. I’ve got to treat every swim in this Games like it’s my last from now on in, because I don’t know when that’ll be.”
After making his Olympic debut in Tokyo, Joe Litchfield fails to progress to the semi-finals in what is a stacked field after his heats swim of 2:00.11.
Speaking after his race, a disappointed Litchfield said: “Both races this week, I’ve not really felt my best, I’ve not felt like I’ve been in the race.
“I don’t know what it is, I’ll go back and look at it. I’m going to use this as a learning curve – I’ve made it to an Olympic Games, I’ve had a great season, it’s not quite paid off here yet.
“We’ll see how the rest of the week goes, whether I’ve got any more swims, I’ve got to learn from this and build for the future.”