Alexander the Great
Alex Smith became the second Woking swimmer in history this weekend to break a British record, as he recorded a new Masters milestone in the 25-29 years age group for the 50m freestyle at the British Masters Swimming championships in Sheffield. It was the highest point in an extraordinary weekend of swimming for himself and his brother Ben, as both traded huge PB for huge PB back and forth across eight separate races.
The 50m freestyle was the first event, and after Ben had recorded a 0.4 second PB in a 26.17, Alex took two tenths off the previous 25-29 years time to take the gold medal in a new British Masters record of 22.37, winning the race by well over a body length. The swim was also a new PB for Alex, as well as a Woking club record. Ben and Alex, however, were far from done.
Ben’s next race was the 100m breaststroke – a race in which his PB had been set seven years prior. 73 seconds after the starter’s beep, he touched in a new PB of 1.13.27, another four tenths off his previous best time. It was enough to earn him his highest finish of the championships in 15th place, but it was not to be his largest PB of the weekend. That came in the 50m butterfly, the final event of the first day for the two of them.
Alex continued to add to his record and medal hauls with a new PB and club record of 25.92, taking bronze in the process as he dipped under 26 seconds for only the second time in his career. Not to be outdone completely, the biggest PB of the weekend, though, went to Ben two heats beforehand, as he took an astonishing 1.03 seconds off his previous best time to record a 27.53, ending the event in 16th place.
The next day began as the previous one had finished, with Alex taking a gold medal in the 100m freestyle. He also achieved a 0.75 second PB in the process, lowering his best time to a 51.26. With two golds and a bronze, two club records and a British Masters record, that left just the 50m breaststroke for Alex and Ben to make it eight PBs from eight races. They did not disappoint, with Ben taking yet another 0.4 seconds off his previous best time to record a 32.23, and Alex taking an almighty 0.97 seconds off to record a 30.52.
The headline though, rightly, was Alex’s new British record – a time that places him an incredible 72nd in the world overall this year.Share this page: