Double gold for Brits on Day One in Turkey
26 July 2011
Matthew Johnson and Nathan Theodoris both won gold as Team GB won four medals on the opening day of the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey.
City of Sheffield swimmer Johnson clinched gold in the 200m Individual Medley, qualifying second fastest before taking the title in a dramatic final.
I would have liked to have two golds from the first day but to come away with a gold and a silver is a good start to the week.
The 16-year old turned second for the final 50m freestyle length but stormed past Russia's Mikhail Dovgalyuk to take gold in a personal best 2:04.35.
Johnson was back in the water shortly after, anchoring the Team GB 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet to silver.
Oliver Leonard (Windsor SC), Karl Morgan (Nova Centurion) and Matthew Watkinson (Nova Centurion) also climbed the podium for the British team, who finished in 3:29.03.
And while the Russian quartet denied Johnson his second gold by only 0.32 seconds, he insisted it had been a solid start to his campaign.
"I would have liked to have had two golds from the first day but to come away with a gold and a silver is still good going and a good start to the week,” Johnson said.
“I swam a new personal best of 2:05.35 minutes in the medley which is a PB by nearly three seconds so that was great.
“I left it late and the Russian that finished second dug deep and pushed me all the way but I just thought I would swim my own race and not worry about him and it worked out great.
“Swimming that fast straight away gives me confidence for the rest of the week and I am now hoping that these two medals won’t be my last of the week.”
Theodoris (Swim Bournemouth) was a comprehensive winner in the 200m Backstroke, dominating the heats before grabbing gold in the final.
The 16-year old paced his final to perfection, slipping more than a second off the pace at the half-way point before storming back to win in a personal best 2:02.54.
Siwan Thomas-Howells (Swim Swansea) was Team GB's final medallist of the day, claiming bronze in the 400m Freestyle.
The 14-year old was never out of the podium positions in the final, eventually touching in 4:18.61 for a comfortable bronze.
Meanwhile, Shauntelle Austin (Preston) finished seventh in the 100m butterfly, Jessie Foster (Street and District) came eighth in the 200m breaststroke and the girls 4x100m Freestyle Relay team of Harriet Cooper (Leicester), Emma Day (Guildford City), Siwan Thomas-Howells, Ellena Jones (Swim Swansea) narrowly missed out on a medal finishing in 4th.