Max Litchfield Hits 4:14 IM, Thomas/Stephens Swim 2:09 FL


The 2021 British Selection Trials continue to impress at the London Aquatics Centre with this morning’s preliminaries now in the books leading into Friday’s PM finals session. Yesterday night, six more Brits swam under the Olympic selection standard, giving the selection committee 11 total swims to choose from for representation at the Olympics after two days of competition. Tonight at 7pm British time/11am Pacific/1pm Central/2pm Eastern, the finals of the men’s 400 IM, women’s 200 fly, men’s 100 free, women’s 400 free, and men’s 200 breast will take place. But first, here’s this morning’s prelims highlights:

Day 3 Prelims Highlights

After placing 3rd in the 200 IM final on Wednesday, Loughborough’s Max Litchfield nabbed the top men’s 400 IM seed at 4:14.67, the only sub-4:20 swim of the session. Litchfield needs to drop 1.2s in order to meet Britain’s selection standard of 4:13.47. Rounding out the top three times were Bath NC’s Jacob Greenow (4:20.13) and Loughborough’s Charlie Hutchison (4:20.42).

Another individual 3rd-place finisher grabbing the top seed heading into finals was Swansea’s Alys Thomas, who improved from 3rd in the 100 fly to leading the women’s 200 fly prelims at 2:09.02, a meager 0.02s ahead of Plymouth’s Laura Stephens (2:09.04). The British standard to punch the ticket to Tokyo is a 2:08.32, seven-tenths faster than Thomas and Stephens. Also breaking 2:10 was Bath NC’s Emily Large (2:09.64).

Immediately swimming under the Olympic qualifying standard of 48.35 was pre-selected Olympian Stirling’s Duncan Scott in the men’s 100 free, grabbing the top seed at 48.19. Bath NC teammates Thomas Dean (48.53) and Matthew Richards (48.78) rounded out the top three times, with Dean being the closest to the 48.35 selection standard. Placing fourth was 200 IM runner-up Joe Litchfield of Loughborough (48.90) while 16-year-old Jacob Whittle of Derventio hit fifth at 49.31.

Cruising to the women’s 400 free top seed was Bath NC’s Holly Hibbott, registering a morning swim of 4:14.07. The British qualification time sits at a swift 4:05.96. Hibbott’s lifetime best came from the 2018 European Championships, hitting the No. 4 British swim all-time of 4:05.01. At the 2016 Olympics, Jazmin Carlin earned Olympic silver with a 4:01.23, No. 3 all-time in British history. Teammate Leah Crisp placed second this morning at 4:15.50.

While Adam Peaty and James Wilby were pre-selected for the 100 breast, Stirling breaststroker Ross Murdoch has a shot at punching his ticket to Tokyo in the men’s 200 breast after swimming 2:09.90 for the top finals seed. Murdoch only needs to shave 0.85s from this morning to hit Britain’s standard of 2:09.05. He owns the British record at 2:07.30 from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Loughborough’s Wilby placed second this morning at 2:10.29.