Guernsey Press

Rabey continues her record-breaking feats

ORLA RABEY is Guernsey’s new queen of the blue-riband 100m freestyle.

Orla Rabey dives into the water yesterday at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre where she broke the Island women's 100m long-course freestyle record. (Picture by David Ferguson, 31096689)

Spurred on by the electric atmosphere and a touch of inter-island rivalry at Birmingham’s Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the Barracudas star swam a Guernsey long-course record of 58.67sec. in her heat yesterday.

She shaved nearly a whole second off her personal best in removing 0.33sec. from the mark set by Kristina Neves 11 years ago.

That remarkable swim earned her fifth in a strong heat where she settled between two quality Jersey competitors – she was 0.83sec. down on Lily Scott, who claimed an island record of her own in taking second, but comfortably clear of eighth-placed Gemma Atherley.

Clearly elated after setting her third individual record of the week, Rabey described the achievement as ‘not really expected when I first came into the Games’.

‘It’s been really, really, really good and I’m really happy with that swim,’ she said.

‘I was with Gemma yesterday in my 50 fly as well, so obviously we’re very similar standards when it comes to racing... that’s really nice having them race there. I think it edges me on a bit more than if I was right by myself.’

Of her two Guernsey and Barracudas colleagues in the same event, Tatiana Tostevin put in a valiant swim, leading assertively for much of her heat before slipping to second in a season’s best of 1-00.05.

But the bigger improvement came from 17-year-old Molly Staples, the youngest in Guernsey’s swim team, who was left grinning ear to ear after winning her heat in a huge PB of 1-00.65.

As their Barracudas counterparts tackled the freestyle, three Guernsey Swimming Club representatives took to the breaststroke races.

Laura Le Cras swam 1-15.27 for a 1.5sec. PB over 100m, moving closer to Helen Watts’ long-standing Guernsey record.

In the men’s 50m, Charlie-Joe Hallett finished not too far adrift of his own island record in a thrilling heat where he shared the start line with Great Britain legend Adam Peaty.

After a dead heat at the front between the world-record holder and South Africa’s Michael Houlie, Hallett finished sixth in 28.49. The Guernseyman’s record stands at 28.30.

Younger brother Ronny Hallett produced a forceful swim in an unseeded heat.

The 18-year-old shot out the blocks to lead for over half the race before being engulfed in a blanket finish, settling for third in 29.58 – just 0.04 outside his PB.

Charlie-Joe doubled up by swimming the 100m butterfly barely half an hour later, posting a solid 56.83.