The Brits put in their most competitive performances of the weekend as swimming superstar Katie Ledecky clocked a world record on the final day of the Austin Grand Prix.
Tobias Robinson, Dan Wallace and Jay Lelliott all secured top-five finishes in Texas while James Wilby and Georgia Coates also reached ‘A’ finals.
But it was World and Olympic champion Ledecky who stole the headlines with a mid-season world record in the 800m Freestyle, taking down her gold medal-winning time of 8:07.39 from last year’s World Championships with a phenomenal 8:06.68 effort.
Ledecky’s splits were a model of consistency, opening with 2:00.20 for her first 200m before touching at 4:03.22 – a time which would have won bronze at the World Championships – at 400m, and 6:06.00 at 600m.
“I knew from the start that if I put it together the right way, I could have a pretty good swim,” said Ledecky.
“I have my goals and I go into each race just trying to get close to those goals. I just try to get into a good race, get into my tempo and a good stroke and hold it as long as I can.”
Commonwealth champion Wallace was also tackling a pair of American swimming stars in his 200m Individual Medley final as he finished fourth behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
Phelps ultimately took the touch in 1:58.00 from world champion Lochte’s 1:58.43 while Wallace repeated his result from last year’s World Championships in 2:00.90.
Loughborough University swimmer Robinson put in the second fastest swim of his career as he placed fourth in the 1500m Freestyle in 15:22.23 while Bath University’s Jay Lelliott was fifth in the 200m Butterfly in 2:00.55.
World University Games silver medallist James Wilby was eighth in the 100m Breaststroke, improving on his heat swim to clock 1:01.82 in the final, while 15-year old Georgia Coates finished in the same position with a 2:15.50 effort in the 200m IM final.
While that time was shy of her 2:12.74 best from last year’s World Junior Championships, Coates shattered her old 100m Breaststroke PB, clocking 1:09.89 in the B Final to finish 13th overall.
Another teenager, 16-year old Taz Pugh, also finished 13th as she touched in 2:15.18 in the 200m Butterfly B Final while Jess Fullalove and Joe Hulme were 16th and 23rd in the women’s and men’s 100m Backstroke respectively.