The 2017 British Swimming Championships take place in Sheffield this week and blueseventy ambassador Alys Thomas goes there having defeated Olympic Champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain on the 200m butterfly in Marseilles last month.
Experience could count for a lot as swimmers look to qualify for the FINA World Championships, although it could be the 100m on Sunday rather than the 200m which presents the best opportunity for selection. Thomas won at the 100m at the Olympic Trials last year, but missed out on selection.
Here’s what Alys had to say about beating Belmonte, and about her preparation for the British Championships:
What were your objectives in Marseilles?
My objectives were more about achieving process goals than setting times or finishing positions. We had done some race simulation the week before so I had a rough idea of where I could be in the 200 and how I might feel, but my priority lay with breaking down the race into components and targeting specific areas we'd been working on in training.
You swam your fastest ever in-season times (58:98 & 2:09.65), was that a surprise?
I'm really pleased with the times I produced in Marseille, they are what I was hoping I would achieve considering the training I've done the last cycle.
How do you reflect on having beaten the Olympic champion?
It's always nice when people ask about it, as it's a bit of a confidence boost and it shows I can be on a similar level as these world class swimmers. Plus, I have the experience of racing the best in the world.
Which were you most pleased with, the 100 or 200?
I was pleased with both I'd say, to be PB +1 on the 200 and PB+0.2 on the 100 unrested in heavy training is pretty solid. I'd say and I can only take confidence from it going into trials.
What are your hopes for the Trials?
Just to move those times on, aim for best times, focus on process goals and see where the end results take me.
Route to the World Championships
- Winners of the individual butterfly events need to hit 56.81 for the 100m and 2:06.52 for the 200m.
- Percentage inside the consideration times of 57.81 and 2:07.98 will be reviewed if not all slots are taken.
- The race winner in the 100m will be considered for the medley relay if the overall time of the British team is inside 3:59.47 (the team in Rio swam 3:56.96)
- Alys’ best times are 58.66 and 2:08.62