New British best for Lewis Burras on a night of near misses in HungaryJune 21, 2022
Lewis Burras set a new British record to reach his first individual World Championships final on a night of two near misses in Hungary.
Burras clocked 47.64 in his 100m Freestyle semi-final to knock 0.25 seconds off the previous best of 47.87 which was twice achieved by Duncan Scott in 2019 and then again in 2021.
The 22-year-old qualified 14th fastest for the semi-final and was swimming in lane one.
However, he was only 0.50 adrift of Romania’s David Popovici who set a new world junior record to win the race in 47.13.
Burras was the fourth-fastest qualifier for Wednesday’s final but his compatriot, Jacob Whittle, missed out despite an encouraging performance.
The 17-year-old was only 0.08 outside of his lifetime best as he finished in 48.19 to take joint fifth place in his semi-final – and equal 12th overall.
Burras said: “It’s the first time I’ll be dreaming about a World Championship final.
“It’s a free hit tomorrow night, I’ll go have fun with it, be fearless and keep chasing the dream.
“It was a great swim. This morning, I did the job and got through. I do some of my best work in the outside lanes, it really enabled me to just chase the process.
“It’s a great field, a world junior record in there – but I’m happy to put my name in the conversation.
“We got the British record in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay two nights ago, and this is my second one of the meet.
“I’m absolutely thrilled and just want to thank everyone that has helped me get here.”
So close for relay team
Britain twice finished narrowly outside the medals on the fourth night of the championships at the Duna Arena, Budapest.
The Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team of Medi Harris, James Wilby, James Guy and Freya Anderson took fourth spot and were only 0.11 behind the Netherlands, who won the bronze medal.
Harris clocked 59.51 for her backstroke with Wilby 58.49 for the breaststroke 100m and the Brits were neck-and-neck with the Netherlands as James Guy took over for the penultimate leg.
Guy touched in 50.95 after clawing the team into contention and Freya Anderson swam a strong freestyle leg of 52.70 only to be denied in the final few metres.
The British team finished in 3:41.65, with Netherlands third in 3:41.54.
America took gold after touching home in 3:38.79, with Australia the silver medalists in 3:41.34.
Wilby said: “It was a good, strong effort from everyone.
“I think it’s really important that we keep doubling down on this approach we have of a real team effort, really valuing heat alternates, and that’s a position that I traditionally fulfil quite a bit, I’m really lucky to be able to swim the final tonight.
“The team put in a really good effort. It’s one year post-Olympics, that’s always a weird thing.
“But we always want to be learning from these sort of events and pushing forward because we know, with this approach, it really delivers success when it needs to, and we’re looking forward to building through that over the next couple of years.”
Agony for Anderson
It was the second time in the night Anderson had agonisingly finished just outside the medals
The 21-year-old was also a fraction of a second of a podium place in the 200m Freestyle.
Anderson had qualified for the final as the fastest seed in a new personal best time of 1:56.05.
However, she couldn’t replicate that display despite a frantic last-ditch charge down the last leg which saw her clock the third quickest time of the entire field in the final 50m.
Anderson touched home in 1:56.61 to finish fourth, 0.36 behind China’s Muhan Tang who won the bronze medal in a time of 1:56.25.
China’s Junxuan Tang was the gold medallist in 1:54.92, whole Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan took the silver in 1:55.22.
Guy gives it his all
Guy had already given it his all in his quest to win a fourth individual World Championships medal in the 200m Butterfly.
The 26-year-old – competing in his fifth World Championships – was in the hunt for a podium place as he turned for home second behind Hungary’s Kristof Milak.
However, his lightning quick pace proved to be too much and he faded towards the end, eventually finishing in eighth place in a time of 1:55.54.
Milak took the gold in a new world record of 1:50.34.
Dean into second final
Twenty-fours after winning Great Britain’s first medal of the World Championships, Tom Dean booked a spot in the 200m Individual Medley final with an assured performance.
He was narrowly outside his lifetime best as he finished fourth in his semi-final in a time of 1:57.38.
Dean looked comfortable across all strokes but particularly strong on the breaststroke and his favoured freestyle legs.
He was the sixth fastest over both semi-finals to book his place in Wednesday’s final.
Stephens sixth in semi
Laura Stephens missed out on a place in the 200m Butterfly final after she finished sixth in her semi-final.
The 23-year-old recorded a time of 2:08.47 after being in contention for a top three finish throughout the race.
She was unable to hold onto the front two, however, and finished 2.57 behind the race winner, America’s Hali Flickinger.
Stephens was 0.58 behind the eighth fastest qualifier for the final and 10th overall.
Harris was forced to take part in a swim-off to determine whether she qualified for the 50m Backstroke final
The 19-year-old and Italy’s Silvia Scalia had both initially touched home in 27.72 in their respective semi-finals to finish as the joint eighth fastest qualifiers.
That meant Harris had to take to the pool again for the third time in the session only minutes after taking part in the Mixed Medley Relay final.
But she sealed the last spot of Wednesday’s final after recording a new personal best time of 27.56.