Four golds among dynamic dozen medals for University of Bath-based swimmers at 2019 British Championships
University of Bath-based swimmers won 12 medals, four of them gold, and there were two further podium places for alumna Anna Hopkin when the 2019 British Swimming Championships took place over six action-packed days at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.
James Guy, coached by Jol Finck at the British Swimming National Centre Bath, led the medal haul with victory in both the 100m butterfly (51.97) and 200m butterfly (1:56.51) before adding silver in the final event of the week – the 200m freestyle (1:46.34).
That thrilling final, won by Duncan Scott in front of a home crowd, saw MJ Church Ambassador Tom Dean – a Mechanical Engineering student who is supported by a Bill Whiteley Sports Scholarship – finish strongly to take bronze in a lifetime best of 1:46.86 ahead of fellow National Centre Bath colleagues Calum Jarvis (1:47.18) and Cameron Kurle (1:48.18).
It was Dean’s second appearance on the podium following his superb 200m individual medley silver medal in a new age-group record of 1:58.89.
“I’ve been trying to break that mark of 1:59 for a long time now and I’m really happy to finally break it,” he said. “This is obviously one of my target meets, so a PB at a target meet is what it’s all about.”
Rio 2016 Olympic medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, coached by David McNulty, went inside the consideration time for this summer’s World Championships in South Korea as she was a clear victor in the 200m individual medley in 2:10.34.
“Being British Champion is great but I’m thinking about what’s to come in the summer and next year, so this is a stepping stone towards that,” she said. “I can take a lot from this definitely but it’s all about the next 18 months and what I can do bouncing on from this.”
An emotional Jessica Fullalove put two years of injury problems behind her by winning 100m backstroke silver (1:00.84) before claiming her first British title with a superb swim in the 200m final (2:09.74).
“I’m just so over the moon,” she said. “You really don’t understand how much it means to me. The period of time where I’ve had to deal with my injuries has been so hard for me, so I’m just so proud of myself.”
Kieran Bird was a silver-medallist in the 400m freestyle (3:52.21) and Georgia Coates finished third in the 200m freestyle (1:59.40), while there were a brace of bronze medals for Sport & Exercise Science student Tom Derbyshire – supported by a British Swimming Sports Scholarship – in the 800m freestyle (8:03.42) and 1,500m freestyle (15:25.38).
Sports Performance student Luke Turley was fourth in the 800m final (8:09.88) and William Ryley – who studies Chemistry and is part of Mark Skimming’s student swimming group – was fifth in 8:09.98 having placed sixth in the 1,500m (15:40.64). He also won the 200m backstroke transition final in 2:02.72.
Natural Sciences student Jacob Greenow, supported by a Santander Sports Scholarship, reached two individual medley finals during the week, placing sixth in the 400m (4:20.76) and eighth in the 200m (2:03.02).
There was also success for Sport & Exercise Science graduate Anna Hopkin, now based in the United States, as she won 50m freestyle gold (24.99) and 100m freestyle silver (54.02).
Hopkin trained with the student-swimming squad until her graduation last summer and was supported by a Thompson Education Trust Sports Scholarship. Find out more about the University of Bath’s student-swimming programme by clicking here.
Three young swimmers from Team Bath AS, a performance club that trains at the University of Bath, also impressed on the big stage in Glasgow.
Competing in the 100m and 200m Backstroke, Mark Edmundson was fifth in the 200m backstroke junior final having already produced personal best times in both his 100m and 200m heats of 58.23 and 2:06.64 respectively.
Ethan McNeil, who finished eighth in the 200m breaststroke junior final, also showed consistent progression through the competition, improving his times with every swim from 2:25.99 to 2:24.55 to a new lifetime best of 2:24.30.
Dylan Hood, who also competed in the 200m breaststroke, finished 30th overall having swum just outside his PB.
Team Bath AS Head Coach Chris Alderton said: “It was a fantastic week for our team up in Glasgow, the swimmers showed the utmost professionalism and preparation both leading into and during the competition.
“To see them stepping up and challenging for finals was truly inspiring. It was fantastic to see such great support from their team-mates and families back at home, it gave the swimmers a real boost and showed the passion and support that Team Bath AS provides.
“Now we are back home we have our sights firmly set on the next challenge, the South West Regional Champs and Summer Nationals.”
British Swimming Championships 2019 roll of honour
|Gold||Silver||Bronze||4th||5th to 8th|
|James Guy (200m fly, 1:56.51)||Kieran Bird (400m free, 3:52.21)||Georgia Coates (200m free, 1:59.40)||Luke Turley (800m free, 8:09.88)||Luke Turley (400m free, 6th, 3:53.25)|
|Anna Hopkin (50m free, 24.99)||Jess Fullalove (100m back, 1:00.84)||Tom Derbyshire (1,500m free, 15:25.38)||Calum Jervis (200m free, 1:47.18)||Cameron Kurle (400m free, 8th, 3:55.76)|
|Jess Fullalove (200m back, 2:09.74)||Anna Hopkin (100m free, 54.02)||Tom Derbyshire (800m free, 8:03.42)||Georgia Coates (200m breast, 6th, 2:28.61)|
|James Guy (100m fly, 51.97)||Tom Dean (200m IM, 1:58.89)||Tom Dean (200m free, 1:46.86)||Kieran Bird (1,500m free, 5th, 15:28.92)|
|Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (200m IM, 2:10.34)||James Guy (200m free, 1:46.34)||William Ryley (1,500m free, 6th, 15:40.64)|
|Jacob Greenow (400m IM, 6th, 4:20.76)|
|Calum Jarvis (100m free, 6th, 50.05)|
|Calum Jarvis (100m fly, 7th, 53.74)|
|William Ryley (800m free, 5th, 8:09.98)|
|Jacob Greenow (200m IM, 8th, 2:03.02)|
|Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (100m breaststroke, 5th, 1:08.07)|
|Cameron Kurle (200m free, 5th, 1:48.18)|
Pictures of gold-medallists Jessica Fullalove, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and James Guy courtesy of British Swimming.