Lucy Charles-Barclay takes second at British Olympic Trials 1,500 m

Lucy Charles-Barclay leads out of the water at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice in 2019. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Three-time Ironman World Championship runner up and 2019 Challenge Roth champion (not to mention the only woman to have ever won The Championship) Lucy Charles-Barclay returned to her swimming roots today, taking a close second in the women’s 1,500 at the British Swimming Selection Trials in London.

Charles-Barclay passed on today’s Super League Triathlon Arena Games Rotterdam event in order to compete at the swimming race in London.

Despite having stopped competitive swimming in 2013, Charles-Barclay proved to be very much in the game as she led today’s race through the first few hundred meters. She then embarked on a back and forth battle with race-favorite Leah Crisp, who won the 800 m at the Selection Trials earlier this week.

Charles-Barclay made a move with 150 m to go, taking the lead, but wasn’t able to hold off Crisp, who finished in 16:46:09, just ahead of Charles-Barclay’s 16:46:26. Neither came close to British Swimming’s Olympic selection standard of 16:04, but Charles-Barclay certainly proved she is still a competitive swimmer. Her time was about 11 seconds slower than her 16:35 personal best that she achieved while still part of Great Britain’s national swim program in 2013. After that swim, Charles-Barclay moved on from swimming and eventually turned her sites on triathlon. In 2012 Charles-Barclay had tried to qualify for Great Britain’s open-water swim team for the Olympic Games in London.