GB Trials, Day 3 Finals: Litchfield Brothers Write A Line In British History Books

16th April 2021, London Aquatics Centre, London, England ; 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials
Max Litchfield: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Max and Joe Litchfield will become only the third brothers to represent Britain in the pool at the same Olympics after the former won the 400IM at the British Swimming Selection Trials.

Max – the elder by three years and four months – won in 4:12.67 to join Joe who had booked a slot in the 200IM at the London Aquatics Centre.

They become the first British brothers to compete in IM at the same Olympics and only the third after Albert and John Dickin in 1920 and twins Bert and Jack Wardrop at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.

Duncan Scott matched his British 100 free record in 47.87, Ross Murdoch booked a spot on his second Olympics and Alys Thomas will make her Games debut aged 30.

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Men’s 400IM; Litchfield Takes It To The Max

British record: 4:09.62, Max Litchfield, 2017 World Championships

Consideration time: 4:13.47


Max Litchfield – Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr

Litchfield joined his brother Joe on the plane to Tokyo by holding off Brodie Williams in the final metres.

Williams of Bath National Centre also dipped inside the consideration time in 4:12.95.

Max had qualified first for the final in 4:14.67 – 0.08 quicker than the time in which he finished seventh at the 2019 worlds in Gwangju.

The European silver medallist led from start to finish albeit with Williams for company throughout with the latter moving on to his shoulder on the last 50.

Splits: 56.90/2:00.56/3:30.13/4:12.67

Litchfield said:

“I’m really, really happy with that. I’d have liked it to be a little bit quicker, but it’s under the consideration time – and I’m really pleased for Brodie too, he’s an awesome swimmer.”

The Loughborough National Centre swimmer – another of Dave Hemmings‘ contingent – was fourth in Rio and a year later finished one place outside the medals over both medleys.

He added:

“In Rio, I was over the moon with fourth, but this time I want to go at least one better and get into the medals. I’ll need to be a little bit quicker than that, but it’s only April, so we’ve still got time.”

Women’s 200 Fly; Thomas Flying To Tokyo

British record: 2:04.83, Ellen Gandy, 2012

Consideration time: 2:08.32


Alys Thomas; Photo Courtesy: Euan Duff / Duff Company

Commonwealth champion Alys Thomas came from second at the final turn to touch first in 2:08.09, inside the consideration time.

Keanna MacInnes, of the University of Stirling, was next home in a one-second PB of 2:08.86, just outside the cut.

Thomas, who has a PB of 2:05.45 from the 2018 Commonwealth Games, said:

“It took a while to look at the board and realise it was me in that lane and it was me that had done it!

“The last couple of years have just been so up and down and overwhelming at some points, I’m so glad I did it, I believed in myself today and I got the time I wanted.

“It means the world to me, it means the world to my friends and family at home, I’m sure – I’ve got a couple of messages ping but I’ve just been ignoring my phone, so I’m sorry about all those people I’ve not been replying to. I’ll get back to you today!

Men’s 100 Free; Scott Matches Record

British record: 47.87, Duncan Scott, 2019 British Championships

Consideration time: 48.35

16th April 2021, London Aquatics Centre, London, England ; 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials

Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr

British sprint freestyle is a fine place right now with the heat featuring four men going sub-49.

Come the final and it was explosive.

Scott turned first at 50 in 23.16 ahead of Tom Dean (23.35) and Matt Richards (23.62) with the two-time Olympic silver relay medallist coming back in 24.71 to match his British record – read more here.

Behind him a battle royale had unfolded and it was Richards who got the touch with a PB of 48.23 after a second 50 of 24.61.

Dean was third in 48.51 with 16-year-old Jacob Whittle setting a national age group record of 48.76 and Joe Litchfield getting yet another PB of 48.85.

Women’s 400 Free; Hibbott Misses Out After Solo Swim

British record: 4:00.60, Jo Jackson, 2009 World Championships

Consideration time: 4:05.96


Holly Hibbott; Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

Holly Hibbott was favourite coming into the race and was looking to go once more into the 4:05 territory.

The Bath NTC swimmer went 4:05.01 to get bronze at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow but on Friday she was racing the clock and came home in 4:07.03.

It was some way outside the cut and followed her fourth place over although she does have more opportunities at next month’s European Championships in Budapest and meets in May/June.

It clearly hurt Hibbott who said:

“I’m a bit disappointed with that.

“I felt I was in good enough shape to come here and do the time so disappointed.”

Men’s 200 Breaststroke: Murdoch Joins Wilby On Team

British record: 2:07.30, Ross Murdoch, 2014 Commonwealth Games

Consideration time: 2:09.05


Ross Murdoch; Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

James Wilby had made the team in the 100br and went out like a rocket over the first 100 which he reached in 1:00.82 with Murdoch in 1:02.33.

Murdoch, the 2014 Commonwealth champion, had moved to within a second of Wilby at the final turn and came back in 33.74 to his British team-mate’s 33.82.

Wilby got the touch in 2:08.06 with Murdoch clocking 2:08.98 – both men inside the cut with the Scot now having the chance to compete over 200m at his second Olympics having finished ninth over 100 in Rio.

Murdoch said:

“I’m absolutely delighted with that.

“It was quite hard this morning, I was almost all in this morning, but that’s one of the plans we had coming into this to try to push the heats and have a good adaptation to the evening, a bit of learning and that’s what we got.”

Wilby, who had been pre-selected thanks to his 100br silver at 2019 worlds, said:

“Being pre-selected is pretty nice, that little safety net – but that didn’t take away from me coming here, a few months out from the summer, and really wanting to put some fast swims in and set myself up for going towards the Games.

“Our Loughborough National Centre squad is a bit of a dream team at the moment. I’m really happy with my own swims, but then I watch people doing their swims here and think, ‘it’s a pretty special group of people I get to be around every day!’ That pushes me on to maintain my place in that group, because it’s fast.

“I’ve done slightly better on the world stage in the 100m the last couple of years, but the 200m is the event where I always struggle to get my hand over it.

“I’m always focusing on both, sometimes one goes better than the other, but heading towards the Games, it’s definitely going to be balancing them both, 50-50, and seeing if I can get a good result in them both come the summer.”




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