Scott and Litchfield qualify for Worlds on record-breaking night
Swimming

Scott and Litchfield qualify for Worlds on record-breaking night

20 April 2017 / 21:42

It was a record-breaking night for British swimmers in Sheffield as Duncan Scott was delighted to wrap up World Championship qualification in a new national best time.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist became the first Brit to dip under the 48-second barrier for the 100m freestyle as he touched the wall in 47.90s to become the British champion.

Fellow Rio Olympian Max Litchfield also shone at the British Swimming Championships, with the 400m Individual Medley swimmer setting a new British record as he won in a time of 4:10.63 minutes.

And there were also titles for Anna Hopkin, Charlotte Atkinson and Daniel Jervis on the third day of competition in the Steel City.

But the night belonged to Scott, with the 2014 Youth Olympic and 2015 European Games gold medallist taking the final victory of the night, ahead of Jack Thorpe and Kieran McGuckin.

“I’m happy with that,” the 19-year-old told British Swimming. “I’m delighted to have got a PB at this point of the season.

“I was trying to hit the qualification time and I have done that. It’s a time for the Commonwealth Games as well so it’s been a phenomenal day and I am glad to be on the podium with two other Scots.

“My heat swim gave me confidence ahead of tonight. As we saw in the final there, the boys coming through are dropping times all over the shop and the heat wasn’t a place to go easy.

“I hadn’t really thought about Budapest [World Championships]. For me it’s all been about these championships and I’ve got other races this week so I’m not really going to focus on it until I’ve finished the job here.

“This is just the beginning of the week for me and I am looking forward to the rest.”

Litchfield’s title came with younger brother Joe also on the podium, taking the bronze medal, while Mark Szaranek split the siblings on the timing sheet.

And for Litchfield senior, qualifying for the World Championships – in Budapest – was all that concerned him coming to Sheffield.

“I’m very happy with that,” said the 22-year-old. “I was coming here to try to make that time for Budapest and to dip under that is excellent as it’s a PB too. 

“I missed qualifying for Worlds two years ago – that was gutting for me and it was a big kick to come back stronger. I’m really happy to have achieved the time.

“It was amazing to race in my home pool. I could hear them all this morning and I could hear them all again tonight.

“The noise when I finished and when I got out was fantastic and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has come to watch.” 

The evening’s other finals saw Olympic 200m IM silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor beaten by Hopkin in the 50m freestyle, with Gulsum Onal taking the bronze medal.

Meanwhile Atkinson took a second British title with gold in the 200m butterfly, touching the wall in 2:07.06, ahead of Alys Thomas and Emily Large – with Hannah Miley in fifth.

And in the opening race of the night it was Jervis that eased past last year’s champion Tim Shuttleworth to take 1500m gold, with Stephen Milne coming home third. 

Sportsbeat 2017

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