Luke Greenbank was as surprised as he was ecstatic to break his idol's British record in the 200m backstroke at the British Swimming Invitation Meet in Manchester.
One of four swimmers already selected to the Team GB squad for the Olympic Games this summer, Greenbank laid down a marker to the rest of the world by clocking 1:55.34 to win the final – beating James Goddard's British record set at the 2010 Commonwealth Games by 0.24s.
The milestone was all the sweeter for Greenbank as Goddard was one of his swimming heroes as a youngster and the 24-year-old can also take heart from the fact he now owns the fastest 200m backstroke time in the world this year.
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He broke his personal best in the heats at the Manchester Aquatics Centre by clocking 1:55.69 before going one better to write his name in the British record books in the final.
"I'm over the moon with that," said Greenbank. "I came into this meet wanting to build on the last one and to do that in the heats gave me great confidence for the final.
"I've had my eyes on this one [the British record] for a while, but I didn't think I'd break it in-season, I thought it'd be at trials where I could have a go at it.
"It feels absolutely amazing. Obviously it was James Goddard's record before this and as a kid I watched him swim at an international level, so was he kind of an idol of mine, so to get that record is amazing."
Greenbank won the 200m backstroke final by a massive 5.30s from second-placed Elliott Clogg, while elsewhere at the British Swimming Invitation Meet, it was business as usual for Adam Peaty.
The breaststroke phenomenon and overwhelming favourite for Olympic gold this summer laid down the world's fastest 100m breaststroke long course time of the last 12 months by winning in 58.52s, 0.79s ahead of fellow Tokyo-bound swimmer James Wilby.
Peaty said: "I think off the last month I executed the race plan really well, but it was a hard race in terms of getting up for it.
"I think the biggest challenge now as athletes is getting yourself into that zone where you can perform when there's an empty crowd and you can't feel the awe around the place.
"I did what I could; you know it's still extremely fast – that would probably medal at a Worlds – so I'm in a very good place."
Sportsbeat 2021
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