Adam Peaty and Duncan Scott make history on day one of British Swimming Selection Trials

Adam Peaty of Great Britain in action during the Men's 100m Breaststroke heats on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.
Adam Peaty of Great Britain in action during the Men's 100m Breaststroke heats on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.

Other winners Freya Anderson, Kieran Bird, Harriet Jones and Aimee Willmott took giant steps towards securing places alongside Peaty and Scott at the Tokyo 2020 Games (in 2021).

Adam Peaty may have already secured his place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (in 2021), but he was clearly in no mood for mercy as he stormed to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the British Swimming Selection Trials on Wednesday (14 April).

Elsewhere, Kieran Bird caused a shock to win the men’s 400m free, while Aimee Willmott took the women’s 400m individual medley. Harriet Jones finished first in the women’s 100m butterfly, before Duncan Scott broke the men’s 200m IM British record.

British Swimming will lean heavily on these results as they select the team for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 at a later date.

Reigning Olympic champion and World Record holder Peaty touched home in a blisteringly quick 57.39 at the London Aquatics Centre, sending a clear message out to his rivals around the world.

No Brit has ever defended an Olympic swimming title, but that record may come to an end in Tokyo, with Peaty currently well clear of his rivals anywhere in the world. The Loughborough man now holds 20 of the fastest 100m breaststroke times in history.

James Wilby came second in 58.76, while Ross Murdoch was third in 59.51.

“The execution was perfect and way ahead of where I should be now, so I can take a lot of confidence into the summer, the Olympics,” Peaty said afterward. “I’ll have Great Britain on my back and show the world that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

“There’s always ways to get faster. There was no crowd, so that’s tough, but it’s a mental game and I got to exactly where I needed to be. It’s two lengths of the pool, and people can overcomplicate it.”

Freya Anderson took a giant step towards selection for her first Olympic team after easing to victory in the women’s 200m freestyle. The 20-year-old touched home at the London Aquatics Centre in 1.56.80 to comfortably make the Olympic qualification time.

Abbie Wood was the fastest in qualifying in then morning, but could only manage second place in the final in 1.57.48 after Anderson pulled away in a superb third 50m. Lucy Hope finished in third.

“It feels really good to get under the time. Obviously I wanted to be a bit faster,” Anderson said afterward. “It’s just great to be back.”

Aimee Willmott of Great Britain in action during the Women's 400m Individual Medley heats on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.
Aimee Willmott of Great Britain in action during the Women's 400m Individual Medley heats on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

There was a shock in the men’s 400m freestyle, where Kieran Bird came from behind in the last 50m to win in 3.46.00. The 800m free specialist has put himself in pole position to be selected for the British Olympic team, having gone under the Olympic qualifying standard. Thomas Dean finished in second, and Daniel Jervis third.

Aimee Willmott led from start to finish to emphatically claim the women’s 400m individual medley final. Despite swimming against herself, the University of Stirling athlete successfully finished under the Olympic qualification time in 4.35.70.  Lily Booker and Hannah Miley finished second and third respectively.

Harriet Jones held off a late charge from Laura Stephens to win the women’s 100m butterfly. The Welsh record holder finished in 57.79, which is under the Olympic qualifying time. Stephens finished second and Alys Thomas third.

In the final event of the evening, three-time relay world champion Duncan Scott smashed the men’s 200m individual medley British record by 0.7.

The Scotsman, who has also already been selected for the Games, touched home in 1.55.90, ahead of Joe Litchfield in second (also under the Olympic qualification time), and Max Litchfield in third.

It was another serious statement of intent ahead of the Olympics, as the fastest time in the world over the past 18 months.

The British Swimming Selection Trials continue tomorrow with the women's 800 m freestyle, men's 800 m freestyle, men's 200 m butterfly, women's 100 m backstroke, men's 100 m backstroke and women's 200 m breaststroke finals.

Duncan Scott of Great Britain competes in the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.
Duncan Scott of Great Britain competes in the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final on day one of the British Swimming Selection Trials 2021 at the London Aquatics Centre on April 14, 2021 in London, England.
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)