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English swimmers win five medals on day one of Commonwealth Games

24 July 2014

England walked away with five swimming medals on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In the first event of the night Aimee Willmott won silver in the 400m Individual Medley after a close race with Scottish swimmer Hannah Miley.

Willmott was two seconds up on her best time at the half way mark but couldn’t hold on to her lead at the final turn, touching just behind Miley in an English record time of 4:33.01.

"Winning my first long course medal so close to home is pretty special" - Aimee Willmott, silver medallistThe 21-year old said: “I’m a bit gutted not to have come away with the gold. I was aiming to sneak under 4:33 but I didn’t quite have enough left in the Free to do it.

“I knew it would be a good race with Hannah. I’m happy to have come away with my first long course medal and winning it so close to home is pretty special.”

Miley finished in 4:31.76 while Australia’s Keryn McMaster took the bronze in 4:36.35. City of Derby’s Danielle Lowe finished in eighth.

James Guy set a new British Record on his way to winning England’s second medal of the night.

After qualifying seventh in the 400m Freestyle the Millfield School swimmer touched in 3:44.58 to take bronze behind Canada’s Ryan Cochrane (3:43.46) and Australia’s David McKeon (3:44.09).

Guy said: “I’m over the moon with that result. I never thought I’d get a medal from lane seven so I’m really pleased.”

In the 200m Freestyle Siobhan-Marie O’Connor lowered the PB she set in qualifying to win the silver medal in a time of 1:55.82.

The Bath swimmer touched 0.25 seconds behind Australian Emma McKeon. Bronte Barratt (Australia) was third in 1:56.62.

In the hotly anticipated 200m Breaststroke Andrew Willis took bronze behind Scottish pair Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson.  

"To win two medals is just fantastic" - Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, double silver medallistWillis clocked 2:09.87, his second fastest time this year. He said: “I kept telling myself to give it my all down that last length. Obviously I would have liked to have been quicker than that, that’s what we train for, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

“An international gold medal is something I’ve always wanted so it’s about going back and re-focusing. But that was one of the best finals there is going to be so it’s a huge achievement for me.”

City of Derby’s Adam Peaty touched just outside the medals in fourth (2:10.02) and Loughborough’s James Wilby finished in sixth (2:11.53).

O’Connor collected her second silver medal of the evening as part of the 4x100m Freestyle Relay team.

The quartet of O’Connor (54.06), Francesca Halsall (53.17) Amy Smith (53.88) and Rebecca Turner (54.61) set a new British record with a time of 3:35.72.

O’Connor said: “It’s been a busy evening but I’m really happy with how it went, to win two medals is just fantastic.”

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