Taz Pugh seals first junior international title in Hungary

Taz Pugh bagged her first major junior international title with 200m Backstroke gold at the 2016 European Junior Championships.

The 16-year old Ellesmere College Titans swimmer went unbeaten through all three stages of the event in Hungary.

And she saved her best effort for the final, setting a PB 2:11.12 to take the touch from Moldova’s Tatiana Salcutan (2:11.69).

Pugh keeps head in frantic final

A nail-biting final saw Russia’s eventual bronze medallist Polina Egorova take the race out on 1:03.79 at the 100m stage, with Pugh back in sixth on 1:05.06.

But the young English swimmer kept her head to carve her way back through the field with maturity beyond her years, finishing with splits of 31.63, 33.43, 33.35 and 32.71.

All three of Pugh’s performances in Hungary were quicker than her old PB – a 2:13.19 effort to finish fourth at April’s British Championships in Glasgow.

Pugh is making her European Junior debut in Hungary, but secured a three-medal haul for England at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games with bronze medals over 200m Fly, 200m IM and 400m IM in Samoa.

Pugh’s result was part of a memorable night for the British team in which training partner Freya Anderson also won gold, as well as Emily Large and Tom Derbyshire.

  • Click here to view results from the 2016 European Junior Swimming Championships in Hungary.

Image credit: A. Masini / Deepbluemedia