The women’s butterfly events have become two of the most open on the British Champs schedule.
Last year was the perfect example of this as Aimee Willmott scooped the 200m Fly title for the first time in her career and Loughborough’s Rachael Kelly grabbed her first British title with victory in the 100m Fly.
Kelly’s gold 12 months ago – just 0.02 seconds ahead of Siobhan-Marie O’Connor – was a personal best but the 21-year old has lowered her PB to 58.17 already this season as she aims to make her first Worlds team.
While Kelly is defending champion and the fifth fastest Brit of all time, there are two entries in the field who have gone faster than her.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor set her PB of 57.45 to win silver at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games while Jemma Lowe finished sixth in the same final.
While Lowe has not swum below 58 seconds since 2011, she is a two-time British champion over the distance and won the 100m and 200m Butterfly double in 2013.
Last year’s bronze medallist Francesca Halsall may be absent from the field but there are a host of young swimmers looking to threaten the podium, not least Plymouth’s 18-year old Charlotte Atkinson who is the only other swimmer with a sub 59 second PB.
The 200m Fly looks a battle between the top three entries who finished second, fourth and fifth respectively at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Defending champion Willmott claimed silver on the day, while Alys Thomas clocked a personal best to touch fourth ahead of Welsh teammate Lowe, who won silver over 200m Fly the last time the British Champs was in London three years ago.