Medi Harris sealed her spot in the Women’s 50m Backstroke final in style on day five of the Commonwealth Games.
Fresh from her 100m Backstroke bronze medal winning performance, Harris went up another level over the shorter distance to qualify second fastest and earn a place in lane five tomorrow evening. It took a Games Record swim from Canadian Kylie Masse to pip the North Walian to the wall, and it looks set to be another exciting showdown on the final day of swimming at Sandwell.
Medi’s time of 27.64 was just 0.17 back from Masse and 0.11 seconds clear of Aussie star Kaylee McKeown.
Despite the lung-busting swim, Harris returned to the water to help the Welsh Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team set a Welsh record that will take some beating. Harris and Matt Richards replaced Charlotte Evans and Liam White in the line-up, and the new look team went on to take another six seconds off the initial standard set in the semi-finals.
Harris led the team out, battling with backstroke rivals McKeown and Masse all the way to the wall. Kyle Booth’s solid second leg allowed Harriet Jones to gain ground on early leaders Scotland, before Matt Richards hunted the Scots down to claim fifth in an impressive time of 48.34.
Earlier in the evening, 2018 Commonwealth god medallist Alys Thomas finished sixth in the 200m Butterfly. Despite improving on her time in the semi-finals, Thomas was unable to reach the levels that saw her set a Games record with victory on the Gold Coast.
“My brain wants to be here and my brain wants to be racing, but maybe my body is telling me that I’ve been doing it a very long time,” she said. “I’ve been swimming since I was nine.”
“After Europeans I think I need to take an extended break, maybe even until October and switch off. I need to be Alys the human for a bit and not Alys the swimmer. I need to come back with more spark, more fight and more resilience.”
There were personal bests for Meghan Willis and Becky Lewis in the Women’s 200IM SM10 race. At just 14-year-old Meghan earnt a seventh place finish in a personal best time of 2:44.52, while Becky was eighth, 10 seconds back.
Dan Jones looked to be on course to grab a surprise place in the men’s 50m Freestyle final, but the Welshpool native was swamped by the rest of the field in a close semi-final.
Tomorrow is the final day of swimming at Sandwell Aquatics Centre before attentions turn to diving. Medi will go for glory in the 50m Back final after Dylan Broom ends his wait to make his Games debut, and the Men’s Mixed Medley Relay team look to impress.