Determined Dean claims Great Britain’s first medal of FINA World ChampionshipsJune 20, 2022
Olympic champion Tom Dean has won Great Britain’s first medal of the FINA World Championships after a gutsy performance in Hungary.
The 22-year-old added a world bronze in the 200m Freestyle to his Tokyo 2020 medal haul on the third night of the competition as he held off a late challenge for the last podium place in the Duna Arena, Budapest.
Dean knocked half-a-second off his semi-final time as he finished in 1:44.98 – 0.03 ahead of America’s Drew Kibler who took fourth spot.
It was a determined effort from Dean who had gone out quick and led at the halfway stage after clocking 49.81 for the opening 100m.
He had been overtaken by Romania’s David Popovici as they turned for the final 50m but Dean finished strongly to ensure he claimed his first World Championships medal.
Seventeen-year-old Popovici won the gold medal in a world junior record time of 1:43.21, with Korea’s Sunwoo Hwang second in 1:44.47.
Dean said: “It’s a learning experience. My plan was to take it out hard and I paid for that gamble at the end a little bit.
“It was probably the hardest 200m I’ve done in my life, I suffered in that back end – but you roll the dice, you learn from every swim you do and it’s an incredible swim from those boys, too.
“It means a lot. Getting on the podium is great for everyone, it lifts everyone up.
“I would’ve liked a different colour, but standing up there with those boys will be an honour.
“The relays are going to be so exciting this week. It’s such a strong team, we showed that in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle relay, the women’s races – it’s going to be good.”
Molly finishes eighth
Molly Renshaw was narrowly outside her personal best as she finished eighth in the 100m Breaststroke final.
Only 0.67 seconds separated the entire field with 17-year-old Italian Benedetta Pilato winning the gold in 1:05.93.
Renshaw admitted after her semi-final that the 100m event had never been her main priority but that it would help ahead of her favoured 200m race later in the week.
The 26-year-old went out in 31.36 and touched home in 1:06.60 – slightly slower than her semi-final time of 1:06.39 and her PB of 1:06.21 she set at the European Championships in May.
Renshaw said: “I’m happy with that, although I would’ve liked to have gone a bit faster.
“I just wanted to get out there and race. I took out the first 50m and felt it a bit more down the back 50m but I’m looking forward to the 200m now. I’ve got a day to rest and recover and we’ll go again on Wednesday.”
Guy’s fastest fly
James Guy clocked the fastest 200m Butterfly time of his glittering career as he booked another World Championships final place.
Swimming in lane one in his semi-final after qualifying 14th fastest from the heats, Guy set off at an incredible pace.
He led throughout the race and was in front as the field turned for home and although he couldn’t hold onto top spot, it was the first time he had gone under 1:55 for the 200m Butterfly.
His time of 1:54.91 saw him finish fourth in his semi-final and he was the eighth quickest qualifier overall.
Guy said: “That was always the plan, just to do my own race.
“One thing I’ve realised at these meets is you have to do your own thing and not look at anybody else.
“I knew I had to go out tonight and do my own race – and it paid off well. It’s a personal best time, and into the World final. This is my fifth World Champs now and I never thought I’d be doing that in the 200m Fly at 26 years old against these young ‘uns.”
Lifetime best for Freya
Freya Anderson set a new lifetime best as she qualified as the fastest seed for the 200m Freestyle final.
The 21-year-old shaved 0.01 off her previous best as she won her semi-final in 1:56.05 – more than a quarter of a second quicker than Australia’s Madison Wilson who was the second fastest qualifier for tomorrow’s final.
Anderson was in third place with 50m to go but produced her fastest leg of the race – 29.15 seconds – to sprint to the front and touch home first.
She said: “I’m happy with that.
“Here, it’s all about trying to get faster each round and progress, so I’ll take that and hopefully tomorrow I can get a bit faster and look what I have to improve on tonight in the playback video, those one per centers, that would be good.
“It’s a big confidence boost. That’s been my PB for two years, I’ve been struggling to get down to a 1:56-low, so I’ll take it – but there’s always ways to do better.
“Tom’s got that first medal now. Hopefully it gets the ball rolling and we can keep collecting.”
Medi joint seventh in world
Medi Harris marked her debut World Championships by finishing joint seventh in the 100m Backstroke.
Swimming in lane two, Harris clocked 1:00.01 to finish 1.79 behind America’s Regan Smith, who topped the podium in 58.22.
The 19-year-old Swansea University swimmer was slightly slower than her semi-final time but will have gained a huge amount of experience from her first senior international final.
She was only 0.24 adrift of fourth-placed Letian Wan and clocked the same time as China’s Xuwei Peng.