Manuel makes her mark as US Swimming Champs finish

Olympic champion records fastest ever 50m free in an American pool

Olympic champion Simone Manuel blasted her way to the fastest time for the 50m freestyle ever seen in an American pool as the US Swimming Championships drew to a close in California.

Manuel touched home in a time of 24.10 seconds, surpassing the previous best mark of 24.13 seconds set by Australia's Cate Campbell ten years ago.

Her success contrasted sharply with that of Anthony Ervin, as the Rio 2016 champion finished 17th in the 50m freestyle heats.

Simone can still improve

Manuel had already won the 100m freestyle, but was still not wholly satisfied with her performance.

"There's a lot of aspects in both my races that I can improve going into Tokyo," the 21-year old said afterwards.

Her time in the 50m free also smashed the meet record set by Dara Torres ten years ago.

Manuel blitzed the field in Irvine - finishing a huge 0.53 seconds ahead of Abbey Weitzeil with Margo Geer third.

Andrew prevails in men's 50m free

Michael Andrew gave further notice of his rise to prominence by prevailing in the men's 50m free.

The 19-year-old got the better of a tussle with world champion Caeleb Dressel to touch first in a time of 21.49 seconds.

Andrew was one of the standout performers from Irvine, taking four victories in total: 50m free, 100 breaststroke, 50 breast and 50 butterfly.

The sprinter now qualifies for his first major international meet at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.

Ervin misses out

One man who won't be heading to Japan in two weeks time is Anthony Ervin.

The Olympic champion has barely competed in 2018, racing only three times in the 50m free ahead of the US Championships.

That rustiness showed, as despite appearing clean shaven for Sunday's competition, Ervin failed to make an impact.

The 37-year-old achieved his pre-meet goal of going sub-23 seconds, but being in shape to defend his title at Tokyo 2020 appears a long way off.

However, Ervin reasserted his commitment to swimming until the Olympics.

"I want to make my way to the end of the quad, just so I can see those guys off," Ervin told NBC Sports, referring to the 'new generation' of US talent like Andrew and Dressel.

Baker delivers again

There was more success for Kathleen Baker, the day after she channeled her 'inner shark' to set a new 100m backstroke world record.

In the 200m individual medley, Baker produced the fastest time ever in an American pool: 2 minutes 8.32 seconds.

Leading all the way, Baker shaved a huge 3.26 seconds off her previous personal best.

Kalisz captures another title

In the men's 200m individual medley it was Chase Kalisz who took the honours, setting the fastest time this year along the way.

Kalisz powered to the finish in 1 minute 55.73 seconds.

The 24-year-old, who also won the 400m IM two days earlier, is now ranked at number one in the world for the event.

His next challenge will be facing the likes of Rio 2016 medallists Kosuke Hagino and Shun Wang at the Pan Pacs.

That meet gets underway in Tokyo on August 9th.

Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends!