Sheffield’s Max Litchfield to swim in his first World Championships after double gold at Ponds Forge

Max Litchfield won two golds in the British Championships.  Picture Scott Merrylees
Max Litchfield won two golds in the British Championships. Picture Scott Merrylees
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City of Sheffield’s Max Litchfield booked his place at the World Championships in Budapest later this year as he struck double gold in the British Championships at Ponds Forge.

The Rio 2016 Olympic finalist broke the British record in the men’s 400m individual medley on day three, breaking away from the pack early on in the race, and in the breaststroke and freestyle legs he left the field in his wake.

Adam Peaty smiles after winning the Men's 100 metre   at Ponds Forge. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Adam Peaty smiles after winning the Men's 100 metre at Ponds Forge. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

He touched in an impressive 4:10.63 to book his place at the World Championships in Budapest later this year.

“I’m very excited [for Budapest] I wasn’t lucky enough to go two year’s ago, and that was gutting for me, but it spurred me on to come back stronger for the next year.

“I’m very happy to make that Worlds team, the first one for me.”

His second title came with with victory in 200m Individual Medley, beating Scottish rival Mark Szaranek to the wall.

Hannah Miley in  the Women's 400 metre individual medley.  Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Hannah Miley in the Women's 400 metre individual medley. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

He touched in 1:58.10, while Szaranek of Edinburgh took silver with a time of 1:58.39.

Litchfield commented: “I am very happy. I was hoping to go under the two minute mark, and to break that by a couple of seconds is very promising.

“The last couple of years I’ve not been racing my best. I’ve done well in the 400 Medley, but the 200 just hasn’t come together. Coming here is a matter of qualifying for Budapest, and now I’ve done that it’s exciting times and I can look forward to that.”

Litchfield’s brother, Joe, also made his way onto the podium. He battled with Nathan Hughes of Loughborough Uni down the final 50m, and managed to maintain his pace to touch in 4:20.89 for bronze.

Action from the Men's 200 metres breaststroke heats. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Action from the Men's 200 metres breaststroke heats. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

And their City of Sheffield team mate Eleanor Faulkner took bronze (4:07.62) in the the 400m freestyle.

Stockport Metro’s Holly Hibbott took gold, despite trailing both silver medalist Jazz Carlin and Faulkner at the 300m mark.

* British team for the World Championships: Adam Peaty, Jocelyn Ulyett, Max Litchfield, Duncan Scott, Ben Proud, Hannah Miley, Chris Walker-Hebborn, James Guy, Calum Jarvis, Nick Grainger, Ross Murdoch, Molly Renshaw, Daniel Jervis, Charlotte Atkinson, Georgia Davies, Sarah Vasey, Alys Thomas, Freya Anderson, Stephen Milne, James Wilby, Aimee Willmott, Holly Hibbott, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Jazz Carlin, Abbie Wood, Rosie Rudin, Mark Szaranek, Luke Greenbank, Kathleen Dawson.

Action from the men's 200 metres breaststroke. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Action from the men's 200 metres breaststroke. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire