Walker-Hebborn seals final berth in SheffieldDecember 13, 2017
Reigning Commonwealth champion Chris Walker-Hebborn looked in solid form as he cruised through his 100m Backstroke heat on the opening day of the Swim England National Winter Championsips 2017.
The Olympic relay medallist set the fastest time of the day on 54.60 and will be aiming for the 54.01 Commonwealth consideration time from lane four in tonight’s final.
He will be pursued by a handful of talented young swimmers who stepped up in the heats.
Loughborough University’s Elliot Clogg set a PB 54.86 to qualify in second while Newcastle’s Nick Pyle clocked a British 16 Yrs Age Group record 55.31 to progress fourth fastest.
@NicholasPyle1 sets a new 16 yrs British Age Record of 55.31 in the 100m Backstroke. He qualifies 4th for tonight's 'A' Final. @Swim_England@britishswimming#SESwimming@TeamYSN_@NCLsport@asanortheast@SportNewcastlepic.twitter.com/ugOB3WWqpG
— Newcastle Swim Team (@NCL_SwimTeam) December 13, 2017
Ellie Faulkner was the only swimmer to break two minutes in the heats of the women’s 200m Freestyle.
The City of Sheffield swimmer – already selected to the Commonwealth team in this event – won her heat in 1:59.96.
Holly Hibbott was just 0.15 off her PB as she progressed second fastest, tied on 2:00.51 with Canada’s double Olympic relay medallist Taylor Ruck.
Commonwealth silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor also made it through in fourth fastest after a 2:00.99 swim.
O’Connor returned to the pool for the 100m Butterfly heats, securing another final berth in 59.69.
Canada’s World Junior silver medallist Rebecca Smith lead qualifiers on 58.76 while former British champion Rachael Kelly was the fastest English swimmer through on 59.01.
BBC Sport Coverage
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Top three set up exciting 400m IM final
The top three contenders in the women’s 400m Individual Medley progressed with minimum fuss to set up an exciting final.
Olympic finalist Aimee Willmott was fastest of the trio on 4:41.81 while Rosie Rudin (4:43.03) and Abbie Wood (4:45.06) will be either side of her in the final.
Commonwealth bronze medallist Andrew Willis will be hoping to confirm his dominance in the 200m Breaststroke after qualifying fastest.
Willis won his heat in 2:12.68 while James Wilby, hoping to join Willis on the team for Gold Coast 2018, was second through in 2:14.13.
In the men’s 400m Freestyle, English 1500m Free record holder Tim Shuttleworth was fastest through on 3:51.63 with Jay Lelliott (3:51.67) the only other athlete under 3:52.
In the sprint events, British record holder Imogen Clark lead the way over 50m Breaststroke with a 30.87 effort while Poole’s Jacob Peters took his PB down to 24.28 to go fastest into tonight’s 50m Fly final.
Finally, Mount Kelly will go in lane four in tonight’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay, setting the fastest heat time in 3:59.59.