Tokyo 2020: Bath-based Freya Anderson and graduate Anna Hopkin help Team GB set British relay record on Olympic final debuts

25 July 2021

Swimmers Freya Anderson and Anna Hopkin, who train and studied at the University of Bath respectively, helped set a second British record in 14 hours as Team GB finished a fine fifth overall in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

After winning their heat in 3:34.03 on Saturday, the quartet – led off brilliantly by Sport & Exercise Science graduate Hopkin in a lifetime best time of 53.16 and brought home strongly by British Swimming National Centre Bath star Anderson – clocked 3:33.96 in Sunday’s final to set a good platform for the rest of the week.

It was the first experience of an Olympic final for Anderson, Hopkin and team-mates Lucy Hope and Abbie Wood, with Australia taking the title in a world-record time of 3:29.69.

Saturday’s opening heats also saw Kieran Bird and Brodie Williams, coached by Jol Finck, make their Olympic debuts, clocking 3:48.55 in the 400m freestyle and 4:17.27 in the 400m individual medley respectively. They will return to the pool later in the week, Bird in the 800m freestyle on Tuesday and Williams in the 200m backstroke on Wednesday.

Sunday’s heats saw Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholar Tom Dean make a solid start to his 200m freestyle campaign, progressing to Monday’s semi-finals with the third-quickest heat time of 1:45.24.

However, there was disappointment for GB in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay heats as, despite a strong start from Bath-based Matt Richards and James Guy on the first two legs, the quartet missed out on a place in the final by just four-hundredths of a second.

Elsewhere, Biology graduate Sara Parfett and her women’s eight rowing team-mates will have a second chance to reach their final later this week after a fourth-placed finish in the heats on Saturday put them into the repechage.

Helen Glover and Vicky Thornley – who, like Parfett, began their rowing careers with the GB Rowing Team World-Class Start programme at the University of Bath – are through to the semi-finals of the women’s pair and women’s single scull respectively.

Liam Broady, coached by Team Bath Tennis coach David Sammel, made a dream Olympic debut on Sunday as he won his men’s singles first round match against Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-7 6-2.

Twenty sportspeople who train at the Team Bath Sports Training Village are competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games, as well as 12 University of Bath graduates. Click here to follow their progress.

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