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Relay team ‘get the job done’ in impressive fashion to set up exciting final

The Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team have sealed their place in Wednesday’s final after they cruised to victory in the heats.

Team GB came home with a silver medal in this event following the Rio 2016 Olympics. Only James Guy and Duncan Scott remain from the team that achieved that result.

This time around, the quartet of Guy, Matthew Richards, Calum Jarvis and Tom Dean finished almost two seconds ahead of their opposition and head into the final as favourites in the event.

They competed in the second and final heat of the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, with Richards swimming the opening leg of the race.

Next up was James Guy who put on a stunning performance and managed a 1:44.66 for his leg before handing over to Calum Jarvis.

Jarvis put in another strong swim and then it was the new Olympic champion Tom Dean who eased his way home. The final time was 7:03.25, a total of 1.75 ahead of the Australian team in second.

After the performance, Guy said: “It was great. To get the job done tonight and get a good heat time was really really good. Job done and onto tomorrow for the final.

Olympic gold medallist Tom Dean explained that the team were looking ‘so strong’ and that he himself has ‘plenty more in the tank’.

He said: “This morning feels like a million miles away. Honestly doesn’t feel like it’s the same day but like Jimmy said, it was just about getting the job done tonight, securing a lane in the middle of the pool tomorrow for our final.

“We’re just looking so strong, everyone’s doing great splits, I’ve got plenty more in the tank. I just kind of took my foot off the gas a bit in that back end because it was just about getting the job done.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow morning, I just need to get a good night’s sleep first.”

Richards added: “It’s good, we were coming into that one feeling quite confident.

“We all knew we had a job to do and the job was executed well by all of us. I think we can walk away from that happy with a smile on our faces.

“I think it’s just a good way to start off that particular relay and I think that the morning’s going to be really exciting to see what all the lads can do again.”

Whittle wins heat

Jacob Whittle, Britain’s youngest swimmers at the Tokyo Games, swam a brilliant heat to book his place in the semi-final of the Men’s 100m Freestyle.

The youngster swam in heat six and clocked a time of 48.44, a new personal best.

Whittle says it was still ‘slightly slower than he expected’ but was happy with the result.

“It was a good race,” he added. “Slightly slower than I expected but I’m really happy with it – great experience.

“Obviously individual race is completely different to the relay we had the other day and the pressure’s all on you. I really enjoyed it and gained some valuable experience.

“It was great. It’s nice to do it by yourself and see if you can deal with the pressure on your own and I really enjoyed it and we’ll see what happens really.

“It’s just great experience for the future in three years’ time and to keep moving forward. It’s been absolutely brilliant, obviously this morning with Deano and Duncan taking one-two, it always gives you a little bit of adrenaline and makes you feel proud to be part of this team and it gives me, again, experience so that I can remember that further down the line.”

Two Brits in butterfly semi-final

In the final heat of the Women’s 200m Butterfly, Plymouth Lender’s Laura Stephens touched the wall in third place to qualify for the semi-final.

She was beaten by the dominant Yufei Zhang of China, who finished first, and Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas in second.

Stephens’ time of 2:09.00 was the seventh fastest, with Welsh swimmer Alys Thomas (2:09.06) following closely behind. Just 0.6 separated the British pair, resulting in Thomas also making the semi-final.

Stephens reflected on the race, saying: “It’s nice to get the first one under my belt. Hopefully I can move that forward again tomorrow.

“This is my first Olympics so just being here and being in the pool is amazing and taking every opportunity that I get. I was a little nervous tonight but I’m just excited for tomorrow.

“We’re having a fantastic competition so far in the pool, it makes me super proud to be part of this team and watching the success we’ve had so far it just inspires you and it pushes you and it makes me want to perform at my very best as well.”

Wilby and Murdoch sneak into semi-final

James Wilby and Ross Murdoch just made it into the sixteen to go through to semi-finals of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, taking the final two qualifying spots.

Wilby was in second place at the half way point but the final result saw him finish in fourth with a time of 2:09.70.

Following closely behind him was GB teammate Ross Murdoch who managed a fifth place finish (2:09.95).

On his race, Wilby said: “I made a bit of a mistake in 2019, being a bit too settled and easing in the first round or two, so coming off the back of the 100m didn’t really get stuck into the next event.

“Basically I tried to get stuck in down the first 100m there so I’m ready to push into the pain come the semi-finals.”