Tom Dean completes international medal haul as University of Bath swimmers past and present excel at World Short-Course Champs
Tom Dean completed his collection of individual medals from international competitions and Anna Hopkin secured her first as University of Bath students past and present finished 2022 on the podium at the FINA World Short-Course Swimming Championships.
Ben Proud, of the University’s swimming club, also went mighty close to defending his 50m freestyle title during an exciting weekend of racing in Melbourne, Australia.
Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholar Dean, coached by David McNulty at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, clocked a short-course personal best of 1:40.86 to win bronze in Sunday’s 200m freestyle final, just seven-hundredths of a second behind Romania’s David Popovici. South Korea’s Hwang Sun-Woo produced a stunning late charge from the outside lane to pip them to gold in a new Championship-record time.
“I’m really chuffed because I’ve now got an individual international medal at every major competition and that was always in the back of my mind as something that would be cool to do,” said Dean, whose medal is the 46th won on the global stage by British Swimming Performance Centre Bath athletes in 2022.
“The 🥉medal, I’m really chuffed,” says @tomdean00 after claiming a place on the 200m free World podium.
“I’ve now got an individual international medal at every major competition & that was in the back of my mind as something that would be cool to do.”
— Nick Hope – the athlete’s journalist 👨💻🏊🏻♂️ (@NickHopeTV) December 18, 2022
“The 200 [free] is always an interesting one because short-course and long-course are like different sports. You’ve got to be so upbeat and attack it from the start. I was racing someone I couldn’t see, so it’s hard and tactical but I’m very happy with the bronze medal.”
Saturday’s ‘splash and dash’ 50m freestyle finals had seen Sport and Exercise Science alumna Hopkin time her race to perfection to win a brilliant bronze in 23.68. It was a first individual international medal for the Olympic relay champion, who was coached by Mark Skimming while studying and training at the University of Bath.
“I can’t believe it!” said Hopkin. “I knew it was possible but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy it. It’s quite hard to just focus on your own race [in a final] but I’m getting better at that and I wasn’t overwhelmed by what was going on around me, I just stuck to my plan and it worked so I’m really happy.”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” @annahopkin admits after claiming her 1st individual global honour with World 50m free🥉!
— Nick Hope – the athlete’s journalist 👨💻🏊🏻♂️ (@NickHopeTV) December 17, 2022
The following men’s final saw Proud, who was also coached by Skimming and represents the Bath University swim club, miss out on defending his title by just three-hundredths of a second as rising star Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands took gold in a thrilling battle.
Proud – who won World (50m), European and Commonwealth gold this summer – was delighted with his latest medal, though, saying: “That’s not a bad one for me. I always want more but to finish this year with all the gold medals plus this silver, I think that was perfect. I want to come back next year with more drive and see what I can do but I’m happy.”
Pictured top: Tom Dean (right) on the 200m freestyle podium. CREDIT: Insidefoto di Andrea Staccioli/Alamy Live News