It was an impressive debut performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games for Alice Tai and Jacob Peters who will be returning from Australia’s Gold Coast with three medals between them and with records broken at both national and county level.
Alice Tai, who currently trains at the British Para-Swimming performance centre in Manchester but represents BCS competitively, made history by winning England’s 100th swimming gold since the Games started in 1930 in the Women’s S9 100m Backstroke. Already the World Record holder for this event, and qualifying fastest in the morning heats, she romped home in the final with a time of 1:08.77 over 2.5 secs ahead of Australia’s Ellie Cole and Ashleigh McConnell.
With one gold under her belt, Tai was set to go into the Women’s S9 100m Freestyle as the second-place favourite to Ellie Cole but in a hard-fought finish both were pipped at the post by Australia’s Lekeisha Patterson. Tai’s silver medal winning swim of 1:03.07 knocked nearly three-quarters of a second from her previous best time, and was just 0.05 sec behind Patterson and 0.29 sec ahead of bronze medallist Cole.
In his first international at Senior level, Poole’s Jacob Peters swam nine races in six days, reaching all three Butterfly finals and collected a silver medal as an England heat swimmer in the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley relay.
At each stage of the 50m Butterfly event Peters lowered his Dorset County Record, achieving 24.00 in the final. In the semi-final he shaved 0.06 sec from Ben Proud’s British Age Group Record (17yrs) only to lower that record again in the final. Peters now holds the British Age Group Records for all three Butterfly distances.
Peters qualified seventh for the 200m Butterfly final in 1:58.42, then produced 1:57.75 to place fifth overall. Going into the 100m Butterfly, Peters placed sixth in the heats in 53.72, equal sixth in the semis in 53.40 and finished joint fifth with Canada’s Joshua Binnema in 53.11. His form earned Peters a place in the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley relay heats along with Elliott Clogg, James Wilby and David Cumberlidge, qualifying second behind Australia for the final. England’s team of Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Ben Proud finished just 0.09 sec behind the Australians in the final, winning silver medals for the four heat swimmers as well as themselves.