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Abbie Wood wins European Junior bronze in Hungary

Loughborough University’s Abbie Wood won 400m Individual Medley bronze to become Great Britain’s first individual medallist of the 2016 European Junior Championships in Hungary.

The 17-year old swimmer clocked a season’s best and second fastest time of her career in the final. She touched the wall in 4:42.13.

Wood has an impressive record on the junior international stage in recent years. She won double gold at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival and 400m IM gold at last year’s inaugural European Games in Baku.

And the former Derventio swimmer showed her experience to reach another podium. She sliced more than two seconds from her morning heat swim to finish just 0.59 seconds behind Serbia’s Anja Crevar. And she was just 0.07 behind Italy’s silver medallist Anna Pirovano.

All-English quartet win Freestyle Relay gold

An all-English quartet landed Great Britain’s only other medal of the opening day in Hungary with bronze in the girls’ 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

Freya Anderson, who had earlier decimated the British Age Group 15 Yrs 100m Freestyle record in the individual heats, led off the quartet in 55.59.

Woking’s Anna Maine took over with a 56.85 split before Newcastle Swim Team’s Emily Large (56.89) and Stockport Metro’s Holly Hibbott (55.92) brought the Brits home in 3:45.25. This was behind quartets from Denmark (3:43.42) and Russia (3:44.35).

The British boys’ team also made the 4x100m Free Relay final on the opening night. Three English swimmers helped them to an eighth place finish.

Scotland’s Craig McLean teamed up with Lewis Clough (Salford), Elliot Clogg (City of Sheffield) and Joe Litchfield (Doncaster Dartes). The Brits came home in 3:23.99.

Nathan Hughes was the only other English finalist of the day. He finished eighth as the youngest competitor in the 400m Freestyle.

Competing against rivals born in 1998 and 1999, the 16-year old Hatfield swimmer ducked two seconds under his PB. He qualified for the final in eighth on 3:55.12, before coming home in the same position in the evening session on 3:58.19.

There were some promising semi-final performances from English swimmers on the opening night. Ellesmere College Titans’ Taz Pugh progressed fastest in the 200m Back. Large led the way in the 200m Fly, and Anderson qualified second fastest in the 100m Free.

Meanwhile, Cockermouth’s Edward Baxter will also have his sights set on becoming the first British male medallist of the Championships. He progressed second fastest in the 200m Breaststroke.

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

Image credit: European Junior Championships 2016