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UK F-Teamers Are Back Racing

16 February 2021

Jacob Whittle
It has been over a year since the jet, Jacob Whittle has swum long course.

After more than a year of Covid interruptions around the world, elite swimming in the UK is finally back. Over the weekend our very best F-Teamers stepped up to blocks, for the first time in almost 12 months, to race at the Manchester International Swim Meet. The last time most of them pulled on a race suit was at the Edinburgh International Swim Meet in March of 2020. Only a few days later, the UK went into the first of 3 lockdowns, meaning most of the top swimmers have had, at a minimum, a 12-week period of no training.

Only the most elite swimmers in Britain were selected to compete in Manchester with very strict Covid guidelines in place, as club swimming is still not permitted. Swimmers required a negative Covid test result, had to social distance and wear face masks, and de-fogging of the starting blocks between races were just a few of the safety measures in place. The restrictions didn't stop our F-Teamers from posting some very fast times.

Ireland's Daniel Wiffen clocked a new PB of 3:56.33 in the 400m Freestyle event. Daniel's success didn't stop there as he posted a lifetime second best in the 1500m Freestyle with a time of 15:26.27 against some big names in distance swimming like Austrian NY Breakers swimmer Felix Auboeck who came second with a time of 15:11.51. Daniel is one of the lucky few who have had a chance to race in the past 12 months. Having recently relocated to Loughborough for his studies, Daniel took part in the university swim league, competing against the best universities in the UK in October.

Jakob Goodman
Jakob Goodman was glad to hit the water again competing in three events over the weekend

Jakob Goodman had a busy schedule racing in the 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle events. He swam an impressive 1:52.15 in the heats in a tough field, placing him 9th and just out of the finals. His heats time would have placed him 7th in the finals.

Jacob Whittle had a successful ISL season racing for the NY Breakers in 2020 and has put in some decent training in the lead up to the weekend's meet. But it has been over a year since Jacob last raced long course so he was looking forward to seeing what sort of times he could put down at this point in the season. "It felt great to be back racing long course against the country's best and some of the world's best."

On Day 1, Jacob swam an impressive 50m Freestyle winning his heat in a time of 22.96. He came third in the final with a time of 23.33 just behind NY Breakers teammates Joe Litchfield (23.22) and Matthew Richards (23.06). In the 100m Freestyle heats, Jacob raced a lifetime best of 49.60 beating Joe Litchfield and Thomas Dean who also swam sub 50 seconds. The tables were turned in the final with Thomas Dean winning the event (49.65) ahead of Matthew Richards (49.84) and Jacob who came third with a time of 49.97. Jacob's time of 1:51.80 in the 200m Freestyle heats qualified him for the finals where he finished 6th behind big names like James Guy and Thomas Dean with a time of 1:51.65.

"I have learnt loads of things from this meet and now know what I need to work on for the season. Now I am happy that I'm in a good position to move forward."

Click here for a full list of results.

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