James Guy’s World Champs hat-trick leads 24-medal haul for University-based swimmers at home and abroad
Nineteen medals, five of them gold, were also secured during an excellent week at the British Swimming Summer Championships in Sheffield.
Guy’s first medal of a busy week in Budapest was one to savour as he and British Swimming National Centre Bath team-mate Calum Jarvis successfully defended the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay title they won at the 2015 World Championships.
Sports Performance graduate Jarvis helped Britain qualify for the final, where Guy swam the anchor leg as he, Stephen Milne, Nick Grainger and Duncan Scott took gold in a new national record of 7:01.70.
Guy, coached in the London 2012 Legacy Pool by Jol Finck, also smashed the British 100m butterfly record twice on the way to the final, where he won bronze in 50.83.
“It’s the first time I’ve raced this event at an international championships so I’m pretty happy,” he said. “I was a bit tired and I wasn’t happy with the finish but I’ll take the bronze.”
Guy then helped to ensure the championships ended on a strong note for Britain as he and National Centre Bath team-mate Chris Walker-Hebborn joined forces with Adam Peaty and Scott to win 4x100m medley relay silver in a British record time of 3:28.95 (pictured) – emulating the quartet’s achievement at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Walker-Hebborn, who was unable to swim in the individual 100m backstroke earlier in the week due to illness, said: “I put everything into that and it hurt like something else but having these boys on the backend is incredible and I’m lucky to be a part of this team. I’m just glad I got to the end of the week and got to swim with them.”
Santander Sports Scholar Thomas Tsiopanis, who graduated in Sports Performance earlier this month, set a new Cypriot national record of 2:05.19 for the 200m individual medley on his World Championships debut.
Tsiopanis, coached by Mark Skimming, also suffered from illness ahead of his 400m individual medley heat but was able to record a good time of 4:34.49.
Back in Sheffield, Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Stephanie Millward finished the Summer Championships with two gold medals, one silver and a place in the British squad for this year’s World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico.
The Team Bath AS swimmer, competing in mixed-classification events, followed up her 400m freestyle gold on the opening night by sharing the 100m freestyle title with Hannah Russell after both scored 923 points. Millward also claimed 50m freestyle silver with 861 points.
Sport & Exercise Science student Tom Derbyshire, supported by a British Swimming National Training Centre Scholarship, followed up his 400m freestyle gold with 1,500m freestyle silver in 15:10.15 – missing out on the title by just half a second.
MJ Church ambassador Jay Lelliott was third in 15:21.48 to secure his second bronze of the week – an impressive return as he is still in full training for next month’s World University Games in Taipei.
That is also the case for Sport & Exercise Science student Anna Hopkin, who warmed up for Taipei with 50m freestyle silver in 25.48.
National Centre Bath swimmer Joe Hulme won silver in both the 100m and 200m backstroke, in 55.25 and 1:59.26 respectively, and Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Masters student Miles Munro was just one-hundredth of a second shy of a 100m freestyle gold medal after clocking 49.80.
Rio 2016 Olympian Cameron Kurle won joint silver in the 200m freestyle after both he and Luke Howdle touched the wall in 1:49.57.
Team Bath AS, the performance swimming club which draws its swimmers from local clubs, enjoyed an excellent week in the junior competitions, particularly Laura McNab.
The Royal High School pupil, who represented GB at the LEN European Junior Championships last month, claimed four medals in the 16-years age group – 100m freestyle gold, 50m and 200m freestyle silver, and 4x100m freestyle bronze with Misty Marshall-Welling, Amy Gordon and Rhiannon Bowen.
That helped Team Bath AS place second in the most improved club rankings, with the University of Bath also the only senior programme to appear in the top ten.
Skimming, Head of Swimming for the University, said: “It was a really encouraging week and there were some great swims. As well as the medals, there were personal and season’s best performances from Oliver Maltby, Tom Sinclair, Will Ryley, Matt Wright, Andrew Roy, Becky Swales, Lily West and Charlie Pullan, so it was good to see that improvement.”
Pharmacy student Jeff Chan, also part of Skimming’s training group, competed in the Hong Kong National Championships and set new personal bests as he won 200m freestyle gold and 100m freestyle bronze.