Para-swimmer Jordan Catchpole, was in record-breaking form on day 1 (Friday) of the International Swim meet in Manchester.
Jordan won the Men’s Mixed Classification (MC) 50m Freestyle final in fine style. After breaking the S14 (intellectual impairment class) British record in the morning with a 24.73 time, he matched that swim exactly to take the title during the evening session.
The previous S14 record was held by Jack Thomas in 25.15 from the Swim Wales Long Course Championships in 2017.
Molly Renshaw matched the British record in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke as elite swimming competition returned on an entertaining day one of the Manchester International Swim Meet 2021.
Eleven months on from the last such domestic event, there was an atmosphere of eagerness among the athletes, coaches, staff and officials privileged to be in attendance at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Olympian, Renshaw was arguably the outstanding performer on the day, clocking 2:22.08 to break her five-year-old personal best and tie the best ever by a British swimmer, ahead of training partner Abbie Wood – who also swam well to beat her own best previous time.
Renshaw said “It’s a bit strange as this is definitely not your normal kind of competition. This morning was a nice chance to blow away the cobwebs and then refocus in for tonight and try to get a time out of myself. Hopefully we’ll have spectators back on some scale soon!
Luke Greenbank looked strong in winning the Men’s 200m Backstroke, coming within half-a-second of his British record, less than a month after the Mel Marshall-trained athlete was confirmed on the plane to Tokyo for this summer’s Olympic Games. Brodie Williams also caught the eye in that one, finishing second.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Challis put in outstanding performances on day 1. The para-swimmer twice smashed her own S3 British record in the Women’s 50m Backstroke, knocking more than three seconds off her previous mark set at the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships, getting her weekend off to an ideal start.
Challis said: “I was very pleased with the results, definitely. I didn’t really know what to expect coming in – I felt confident in myself, but I didn’t know what to expect from this new experience, social distancing, one-way round and everything. But it went really well and I was so happy with it.
“I am so happy to be competing again – I just needed an official time – 11 months without competition isn’t the best. I was glad to have this morning’s heats coming into the finals.
Rounding out the first day of action were those 50m Freestyle finals, with Matt Richards – who moved to the Bath National Centre last summer – building on a solid heats performance to touch first in the men’s event, Joe Litchfield and Derventio’s Jacob Whittle following in second and third respectively.
Among the other notable results on Friday was Adam Peaty, who flexed his early-season muscles with a strong display to take the Men’s 100m Breaststroke crown, with James Wilby clocking a solid final time for silver. Meanwhile, four-time world champion James Guy surged to the front of a competitive Men’s 100m Butterfly final field to take victory.
Georgia Davies took gold in the Women’s 50m Backstroke after a battle with Sweden’s Louise Hansson, whilst Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson were separated by a mere three hundredths of a second in the Women’s 50m Freestyle showpiece, Hopkin ultimately getting the edge.
Earlier in the evening, Bath National Centre athlete Holly Hibbott opened the session by claiming victory in the Women’s 400m Freestyle, before Daniel Jervis got the better of Max Litchfield by one hundredth of a second in the men’s event to finish second behind Austrian Olympian Felix Auboeck.
Ellie Simmonds won a closely-contested race in the Women’s MC 400m Freestyle, edging out Maisie Summers-Newton by a mere two points, whilst Michael Jones took the men’s crown.
Full results for the day and links to events for Day 2 (Saturday 13th Feb 2021) can be found by clicking here.
The Manchester International Swimming Meet continues on Saturday 13th February. Every race is streamed live on the British Swimming YouTube channel.
Story from British Swimming (12.2.21)