Superb silver and brilliant bronze as storming swims seal podium placesJune 23, 2022
Luke Greenbank and the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay teams produced storming swims to secure Great Britain two medals on day six of the World Championships in Hungary.
Olympic bronze medallist Greenbank gave Great Britain a superb silver lining with a perfectly-paced performance in the 200m Backstroke at the Duna Arena, Budapest.
Half an hour later, the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle team bagged bronze in a thrilling race with Tom Dean producing a lightning quick anchor leg to secure third place.
It sealed Dean’s second medal of the championships after he also won a bronze in the 200m Freestyle.
Greenbank was in a battle for second spot with American Shaine Casas as they turned for home but was the quickest man in the pool down the final stretch to seal the silver.
Brodie Williams came within a whisker of making it two Brits on the podium at his debut World Championships but finished fourth in a new lifetime best of 1:56.16
Greenbank bided his time down the opening half of the race and had climbed to fourth spot by the halfway stage, with Williams in second.
However, 24-year-old Greenbank made his move to move into second behind leader Ryan Murphy with 50m to go.
He was only 0.07 ahead of third and almost a second behind first place but came home in 29.40 to stretch his advantage over Casas and finish in 1:55.16 – only 0.64 behind the gold medallist Murphy.
It bettered the bronze Greenbank won in the race at the 2019 event.
He said: “I’m really pleased with that.
“This has been a bit of a hectic year, so to come away with a silver medal, it’s not far off my best time, I’m over the moon.
“Waiting until now for my main event, it’s just part of managing the whole experience.
“This is my third Worlds, so I know what it’s all about, keep level and not let the highs be too high or the lows be too low, the steadier you are, the better.
“I knew Ryan probably wasn’t going to do what he’s been doing in the first rounds, so I was just trying to block him out, swim my own race and that lane really helped me, because it meant I wasn’t really close in the middle of it all and could just focus on what I needed to do.
“That medal will be really helpful and definitely boost morale – morale is already high in the team, but whenever somebody comes back with a medal, it does really help.”
Dean delivers in remarkable relay
Dean swam the fastest 200m split of the 4x200m Freestyle relay to claw Britain onto the podium.
The team of James Guy, Jacob Whittle, Joe Litchfield and Dean were in contention throughout a remarkable race.
Guy went out in an opening leg of 1:46.31, with 17-year-old Whittle clocking 1:46.84 to leave Britain fourth at the halfway stage.
Litchfield came home in 1:47.36 with Britain in fifth as Dean took over.
The Olympic champion showed his class as he clocked 1:43.53 – the fastest split in the race by eight-tenths of a second – to cruise past the Brazilian and Korean teams to take the bronze.
The team’s time of 7:04.00 was 3.76 seconds behind the gold-medal winning Americans but a new English record.
Guy said: “Coming into this World Champs, we always knew it’d be a challenge to replicate what we did in Tokyo. But to get a bronze at the Worlds with quite a new team is not a bad start.
“We know Duncan is a massive part of the relay, but he’s not here, we move forward and we delivered the goods when it counted – and to get a bronze, we’re delighted with that.”
Dean said: “It’s always a tricky one after that individual, I really hurt myself on that one, didn’t swim it how I wanted to – but you get on the relay and it’s a different ball game altogether.
“You’ve got the energy of the team, you’ve got the crowd, you’re a bit more relaxed and you swim it faster.
“I knew I was on good form so I was hoping for a quick time, when you’re in that arena and you’re in that event, chasing someone down, really special things can happen.
“Jimmy came here five years ago and went a 1:43, it’s always been like a holy grail of relay splits.
“Duncan then backed it up in Tokyo and went a 1:43, and it’s a great honour to join that club now.”
Sixth and eighth for Molly and Abbie
Best friends Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood went head-to-head in the 200m Breaststroke final finishing sixth and eighth in the world respectively.
The British Swimming Performance Centre Loughborough duo produced solid swims with Renshaw clocking 2:23.92 and Wood 2:22.19.
Renshaw was in contention for a podium place throughout, leading at the halfway stage and in second spot as they turned for home.
However, the 26-year-old couldn’t maintain that momentum in the final 50m and finished 1.51 behind gold medallist Lilly King.
The American was fifth after 150m but touched in 2:22.41 to win by 0.63 seconds.
Renshaw said: “I knew after yesterday’s swim that I may struggle down the last 50m, but I have to commit to that first 150m to be in the race.
“I did that, I knew that would be irrelevant today, it would be about getting out there and seeing who could race the best.
“I try not to think too much about who is around me, because I know one girl next to me could go out fast, the other could come back really strong.
“So I just try to focus on my own race plan, go for it to 150m and then see what I’ve got on the way home.”
Proud, Burras in freestyle final
Ben Proud won his ‘splash and dash’ 50m Freestyle semi-final with a dominating performance.
The 27-year-old was fastest off the blocks and never looked like being beaten as he clocked 21.42, even gliding towards the wall over the final few metres.
Lewis Burras was only 0.01 outside his lifetime best as he finished third behind Proud in 21.78, with both comfortably reaching Friday’s final, which promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Proud was the quickest qualifier as he finished 0.28 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, with Burras fourth fastest.
It is the first time two British men have reached the 50m Freestyle World Championships final.
Lifetime best for Peters
Jacob Peters clocked a lifetime best as he and James Guy finished equal fifth in the first 100m Butterfly semi-final.
Peters made a lively start and was fourth at the 50m mark with Guy sixth.
The British duo made a dash for the wall and couldn’t be separated at the touch, with both clocking 51.50.
It meant Peters shaved 0.15 seconds off his previous best in the event.
However, they both missed out on a place in the final as they finished joint 11th – 0.22 seconds outside the final qualifier.