Gold medalist, Daniel Jervis reacts after finishing first in the men's 800m freestyle. Pic: Getty Images.

Daniel Jervis Takes Second Title, Medi Harris Earns Silver, And Matt Richards Smashes Another Welsh Record At British Championships

By Hannah Blackwell

Daniel Jervis rounded off a superb British Swimming Championships by winning a second medal in Sheffield in a new personal best.

The Welsh Olympic finalist took 800m freestyle gold to add to his 1500m freestyle title won earlier in the week.

Jervis (Swim Wales High Performance Centre) wound up the pace through the early lengths to move to the front of the field, with 400m freestyle champion Luke Turley (Bath Performance Centre) sitting on his feet one lane over.

By the bell, Jervis was well over a body length clear and was racing against the clock.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympian went to the legs and kicked home in a new personal best of 7:47.81 to obtain his second World Championships selection time of the meet, this consideration mark following his 1500m qualifying time.

Turley came in second in a lifetime best, with Loughborough University’s Tobias Robinson rounding out the podium.

Delighted to have taken a second title of the week in one of his ‘favourite pools’, Jervis said: “I’m very happy with that, I’m very glad it’s over! 

“I was very nervous tonight, I don’t know why because I had absolutely zero pressure but I always have high expectations of myself, and if I don’t hit those expectations, I beat myself up.

“So I think coming away from there with a two or three-second PB, I can’t really ask for more, so I’m very happy.

“The feeling when I touched the wall and heard the crowd the other day after the 1500m Freestyle, that was brilliant. I feel like you go through 90 per cent of hell in training, and then that 10 per cent, feeling that feeling, it’s amazing, I loved it.”

Medi Harris (Swim Wales High Performance Centre) was involved in a brilliant head to head with Lauren Cox (Loughborough University) in the women’s 50m backstroke final.

The early advantage appeared to be with Cox, who emerged from her underwater first to get up into her stroke, however Harris’ swim speed brought the pair parallel as they headed under the flags. 

Diving for the line, Cox timed her finishing kick to perfection, propelling her hand to the wall five hundredths ahead of her rival.

Blythe Kinsman (Mount Kelly) was next to stop the clock, showing a positive progression in her heats to final performance which maintained her third-placed qualification and take bronze in a new British age-group record time.

Wales’ Olympic relay champion Matt Richards continued his strong meet with a third place finish and Welsh record in the men’s 50m freestyle. 

Earlier in the meet, the 20-year-old posted a then-world leading 47.72 100m freestyle in prelims, before taking third behind Lewis Burras and Duncan Scott. 

(Since then, David Popovici has swum a 47.61 to overtake Richards in the World Rankings).

In the 50m freestyle, Richards took third in 21.98. It’s the first time in his career that he’s broken the 22 second barrier; his previous lifetime best was 22.38 from the 2022 European Championships, which tied him for 19th at the meet. 

That time was also the previous Welsh record, which he reset resoundingly with this swim.

Commonwealth Games Team Wales star Richards now owns three Welsh records: the 50, 100, 200 freestyles.

Additionally, 21.98 vaults him up the all-time British rankings to fifth, behind Ben Proud, Burras, Adam Brown, and Mark Foster.

 

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