Sunday, July 25, 2021

British Record for relay girls in Olympic final

In the first morning of Olympic swimming finals from the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the quartet of Anna Hopkin, Abbie Wood, Lucy Hope and Freya Anderson improved the British Record they set in last night’s heats, in this morning’s 4x100m freestyle final.

In a change to the race order from the heats, Anna Hopkin led off and charged to a pb of 53.16 for her leg. Abbie Wood took over with Lucy Hope next and Freya Anderson bringing the team home in a new British Record time of 3.33.96.

The 2021 European Champions in the event couldn’t match the speed of the Australians (Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell) who broke the World Record in a time of 3:29.69 to win gold. The silver medal went to Canada in 3:32.78 with USA pushed back into bronze in a time of 3:32.81.

The British girls said of their performance:

Anna Hopkin: “I’m happy to get some good swims under my belt. Not having raced at all last year, that PB was a while ago, so it’s good to be faster.”

Abbie Wood: “I think this is showing us we need to prepare well for the heats, as the heats are fast. Then in the finals, in any lane it is anyone’s race.”

Lucy Hope: “In the GB camp we’ve been preparing for this for the last 18 months. To come in and race is great, but to do it with these girls is even better.”

Freya Anderson: “We were in the race for bronze. But considering where we were last year, I don’t think any of us expected this.”

In the 400m IM final, Aimee Willmott was unable to match her performance from last night’s heats and finished seventh for the event.  The 28-year-old who trains at the University of Stirling, pushed hard across all four strokes and finished in a time of 4:38.30. Yui Ohashi from Japan, gave the home support plenty to cheer about winning gold in 4:32.08 with USA team-mates Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger winning silver and bronze respectively.

Willmott said of her performance,

“Seventh, it’s where I’m at. I just wanted to go in and have fun with it. I would say a massive thanks to everyone at home for all the support. Since I was 10 years old my parents have been at every meet and they’re gutted not to be here. That’s the worst part of the Games for me, not having them here.

“My time is off the boil but I just had to get in and give it my best. It was a tough race if I’m being honest. I’m pretty happy with my career and to make another Olympic final; I kind of shocked myself a bit yesterday, it was amazing for me. Those girls are quicker than last night and I knew it was going to be difficult for me to back up. I’m in great shape but I knew to do two of them, I thought that was a big challenge.

“To come to a Games I didn’t think I’d be at five years ago after Rio, I thought I ‘d be retired; and to get through the last 18 month, the guys at home, my family, the Scottish Institute, everyone at Stirling, Steve (Steven Tigg, Coach) have helped me through, I’m really thankful to have finished and got to this point in my career where I’m really enjoying being at the pool.”

Day 2 heats start at 11am GMT with Scottish interest in the 100m backstroke: Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild; and the 200m freestyle: Duncan Scott.

The diving programme also starts today (7am GMT) with Grace Reid and Kat Torrence going for GBR in the 3m synchro final.

The schedule and results for the swimming meet can be found HERE.

Finals begin at 2.30am GMT.

Heats begin at 11am GMT.

If you are inspired by the performances of our athletes in Tokyo please visit our Inspired to Try microsite to find a club near you, and get involved.