In our final event preview of the 2023 BUCS Nationals, we look at the highly anticipated Long Course Swimming Championships.

More than 2,000 students will gather at the fantastic Ponds Forge International Sports Centre this weekend in one of the most anticipated events on the UK university sporting calendar.

The three-day event will see swimmers compete across a range of distances and disciplines including Backstroke, Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Medley.

This year’s Championships will feature students from more than 70 universities. With so many gold medals available, the competition promises to be one of the most intense yet as the UK’s finest student swimmers strive for success on the national stage.

Get ready to dive into the action as we preview the upcoming UK university swimming championship tournament.

BUCS Nationals Badminton

Where are the Long Course Swimming Championships held?

For the second time this season, Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Swimming Centre will serve as the venue for a showcase university swimming event, by hosting the BUCS Long Course Championships.

The 2,600-seater arena is internationally recognised and has hosted European Swimming Championships alongside several BUCS competitions.

Championship Format

The Long Course Swimming Championships will feature over 60 race finals during the course of the event, which runs from Friday the 24th to Sunday the 26th.

As with the Short Course Championships which took place in November, students will race in five different disciplines; Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle, and Medley, over a variety of distances, ranging from 50m to 1,500m.

The Championships are scheduled to begin at approximately 6pm on Friday, with heats in the relay and freestyle events kicking things off. Day two will see more heats take place in the morning followed by a number of finals in the afternoon. Sunday’s action will follow a similar format with heats taking place in the morning followed by an afternoon of finals including showcase races such as the men’s and women’s 100m freestyle and the 4×100 men’s and women’s individual medley.

With everyone eagerly awaiting the first splash, we look at which universities enjoyed success earlier in the season, and who will be returning to retain their titles.


Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Races: 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m

With over 700 accepted entries across all races and a men’s and women’s champion set to be crowned in each distance, this year’s freestyle competition will be tougher than ever.

Two students looking to defend their 2022 long course titles include Kate Clifton of Sheffield Hallam in the women’s 200m and Alex Cohoon of Loughborough in the men’s 100m.


Breaststroke Races: 50m, 100m, 200m

Loughborough’s Greg Butler was untouchable in last year’s Long Course Championships, securing gold in all three distances. Greg returns to defend his titles along with teammate and reigning 200m women’s champion, Lily Booker.

Kara Hanlon of Edinburgh will also look to defend her 100m long course crown along with Sophie Hansson of Loughborough who is favourite to retain her 200m title.


Backstroke Individual Races: 50m, 100m, 200m

Birmingham’s Oliver Morgan will look to retain his 100m title as well as challenge in the 50m and 200m races.

In the women’s 200m, Stirling’s Katie Shanahan will be looking to build on her short course victory earlier in the season as she goes head to head with the reigning long course champion, Rachel Anderson of Loughborough.


Butterfly Races: 50m, 100m, 200m

Returning to Ponds Forge to defend their titles are Keanna Macinnes of Stirling in the women’s 200m and Lewis Fraser of Swansea in the men’s 50m.

Reigning 100m and 200m Short Course champions, Laura Stephens and Andreas Vazaios, will both be looking to add Long Course titles to their season’s accomplishments.


Individual Medley Races: 200m, 400m

Team Medley Races: Men’s 400m, Women’s 400m, Mixed 400m

With 42 teams competing, this year’s 400m men’s and women’s team medley race is anticipated to be just as thrilling as in previous competitions.

After dominating the field last time out, Loughborough will look to defend all three long course titles.

Stay tuned for all the results coming next week!

Find out which students were victorious here as we will be bringing you all the important results from each Championship event at the 2022/23 BUCS Nationals.

Check back in to discover which universities have claimed the championship titles next week!

In the meantime, you can learn more about swimming at the UK university level here.

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