Medi Harris defended her British crown in style on Wednesday night as she held off Lauren Cox and Kathleen Dawson to clinch 100m Backstroke gold.
The Commonwealth bronze medallist had qualified third for the Ponds Forge final after competing in the 200m Freestyle final a day earlier. But Harris showed her class as she exploded off the blocks to leave the rest of the field playing catch up.
A blistering start from the European medallist saw her record the only sub-29-second opening 50m, and the Adam Baker-coached swimmer emptied her energy tank on the return leg, holding firm for the victory despite Lauren Cox of Loughborough University’s best efforts to claw back into the lead. Olympic gold medallist Kathleen Dawson (University of Stirling) also progressed on her morning’s qualifying time to follow the pair in closely for bronze.
“I definitely found it tough to come back down the back 50m, but going out hard was what I’ve been working on in training. Hopefully towards the end of the summer, my back end will come better with it,” said Harris after the contest.
“I know that I expect a lot from myself, so I just go and concentrate on what I love doing and enjoy the race more than anything. Paris is the main aim for me, but obviously I’d love to go to Worlds to gain more experience and to build better towards Paris.”
There were more strong swims from Welsh athletes on day two in Sheffield. Despite improving on her time in the heats, Tokyo Olympian Harriet Jones was edged out in the 50m Fly by Sophie Yendell in the single length shootout as she took silver this time around.
There was B Final success for Swansea University athlete Antonio Rodriguez, who held off home athlete George Barber to touch the wall in 2:01.93, just one hundredth of a second ahead of the Sheffield swimmer.
In the 200m Breaststroke Priority Paris Final, Mabli Collyer continued her impressive development with a second placed finish, while Scarlet Major was third in the Priority Paris 100 Back event.
Day three will begin with the Women’s 50m Free, Men’s 400 IM, Women’s 200m Fly, Men’s 100m Free and Men’s 1500m Free events. Keep up to date with all the results here.