James Guy relished restating his credentials as an individual swimmer with 100m butterfly silver at the Commonwealth Games - and added a cheeky relay bronze for good measure.
The Bury star is the kingpin of Britain and England’s relay hopes but remains a force in individual finals having won European bronze last year and the 200m freestyle world title back in 2015.
Guy is a consummate performer and delivered another Commonwealth silver over two lengths, sharing second spot with Australia’s Mat Temple in a dramatic dead heat.
“I love putting my team and my country before myself, I’m known as being a relay man,” said Guy, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.
“It’s nice to get on an individual podium and hopefully I can carry that on into the Europeans next week.
“I don’t think people forget about me because I won the world title a few years ago, I’ve won world and European medals individually across an array of events. I’m just enjoying what I’m doing now.”
Guy was fifth at the turn and came home in a 27.29 to swim down close friend, South Africa’s Chad le Clos, fresh from winning a Commonwealth record 18th medal in the 200m butterfly.
“The meet so far has been quite different. The times haven’t been that fast to win but I knew tonight I’d have to come out like a steam train. That was the plan and it worked.
“[Matthew] Temple is a good lad and it’s nice to get on the podium with him. A joint silver is always fun.
“It was a good race. Yesterday felt a bit rubbish in the semi-final but 51.40 is the fastest I’ve been all season.
“The 100 fly all season hasn’t really been there, my main goal has been the 200 fly, but I’ll take a silver at a home Commonwealth Games.”
Guy jumped back in to play his part in a mixed 4x100m medley relay podium finish alongside Freya Anderson, James Wilby and Lauren Cox.
Chorley swimmer Anna Hopkin looked on the bright side of life after finishing fourth behind an Australian clean sweep in the women’s 100m freestyle.
Hopkin came hard out the blocks and turned in bronze medal position before finishing in 53.57, 0.94 seconds behind winner Mollie O’Callaghan who led the dream team from down under home ahead of Shayna Jack and Emma McKeon.
Despite adding silver medals in the mixed and women’s 4x100m freestyle relays, Hopkin admits she has struggled in Birmingham despite revelling in having her nearest and dearest among the raucous home crowd.
She said: “I’m happy with that time. I’ve found this meet tough.
“I’ve loved [swimming here], the crowd has been amazing, but physically I’m tired. So, to reset and put in a decent time, I’ll take it.
“I had to ignore Mollie [O’Callaghan] to my left and swim my own race, which I did – so I’m proud of that. I went out harder than I have been going but the time was quicker, so that’s all that matters.
“I’ve got mum, dad, and my brother tonight and I’ve had different people every night. You must enjoy it, walking out to that noise – it’s something we may never experience again.”
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