Welsh records fell and personal bests were beaten on another incredible day of aquatic action at the Commonwealth Games.
The Men’s 4x200m Freestyle team came agonisingly close to adding a third bronze medal to the Team Wales collection in Birmingham, as Scotland snatched third place thanks to a rapid anchor leg from Duncan Scott.
Calum Jarvis and Matt Richards gave Wales the dream start, going toe-to-toe with Australia and England at the front. Dan Jones clung on to third over the longer distance for the sprint star, before Scott pipped Kieran Bird and Wales to the podium. Despite the heartbreak of a third fourth place finish in the relay, the quartet smashed the Welsh record by more than five seconds.
Cardiff swimmer Harriet Jones had already slashed over a tenth of a second off her own Welsh record as she took it to the stacked field in the Women’s 50 Fly. Jones, swimming from the outside lanes, got off to a stunning start and powered through to the finish, touching the wall in 26.20 on her return to form.
“I’m really happy to PB and I knew it was going to be a close race,” she said. “I’m a little bit disappointed because I was so close to the leaders but I can be happy overall. It’s a rare thing to get a personal best but it feels great to do it at a world class competition like the Commonwealth Games.”
There were also personal bests for Lewis Fraser and Rebecca Sutton on a positive night for Welsh swimmers.
Fraser, who has gone from strength to strength throughout the competition, broke new ground again in the 100 Fly. Fraser slashed 0.2 seconds off his 100 Fly PB to finish as the 10th fastest semi-finalist. The Swansea athlete will be second reserve for tomorrow evening’s final.
Sutton continued her progress at the Games by taking over a third of a second off her PB in the Women’s 100 Freestyle semi-final. In a stacked field, Sutton claimed a time of 56.02 as she continues her promising development.
“It was tough but I just wanted to go out there and enjoy it,” said Sutton. “I wanted to take in the atmosphere and enjoy it, it might be my last race and I gave it a good go.”
In the first race of the evening session, Charlotte Evans proved herself on the world stage with a competitive swim in the 200m Back. Evans held her own as she gained valuable experience against the world’s best, as she finished in a time of 2:14.26.
Joe Small got a taste of a Commonwealth Games final in the 50m Backstroke but couldn’t crash the party in an elite field. Small sprinted to the wall in 25.44.