Superb silver as Great Britain make it eleven medals in Rome

Great Britain’s Mixed 4x100m Freestyle relay team won silver in a superb display to close out day five of the European Aquatics Championships in Rome.

The quartet of Tom Dean, Matthew Richards, Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson were just half a second off the gold medal as they won the race to the wall in the battle for silver with an overall time of 3:23.30.

Britain’s team qualified second fastest for the final but knew they had their work cut out for them at the Foro Italico Sports Complex with strong teams all across the field.

Tom Dean opened the contest for Great Britain, setting a 48.46 which was just 0.44 off the leaders after the first 100m’s.

Millfield swimmer Matthew Richards entered the pool next and he set the fastest leg of the British team with a time of 48.19 to move Britain into the bronze medal place.

Anna Hopkin came in for the third leg and fought well but dropped down to fourth after a strong swim from Sweden’s Sarah Sjoestrom who holds the world record in the Women’s 100m Freestyle.

Hopkin kept Britain in the fight however and that’s all that Freya Anderson needed as she came in for the anchor leg.

It was another incredible showing from Anderson as she fought back to pass both Sweden and Italy to touch the wall in second place as the front four were separated by just 0.82.

On winning her fifth medal of the meet Anderson said: “Everyone’s been telling me it was so close between fourth and second, so I’m just really happy to get my hand on the wall and get that medal.

“On reflection, it’s been such a busy year that I can’t really complain getting medals at Europeans. A gold would’ve been lovely, a gold tonight would’ve been nice, but I can’t complain with two more silvers to add to the collection.”

Dean added: “The results are coming in, but that’s a credit to my team as well. I’m feeling quite tired physically, but we all knew that coming in, that was to be expected.

“Dave [coach David McNulty] is telling us as we’re going out, ‘you’ve done a whole lot of racing this summer, give it all you’ve got, just squeeze out a few more races and have fun’.

“It’s such a good laugh doing the mixed relays, you never know what’s going to happen. People change up the order last minute from other countries, it’s unpredictable, it’s fun – and Freya’s finish was nuts.”

Hopkin said: “It was great to get on the podium, to get silver when it was so close between bronze and silver, it was amazing that Freya managed to get the touch.

“It’s always special to be on the podium, no matter what the times are or how we’re feeling, it really lifts us up.”

France became the European Champions, setting a time of 3:22.80 with Britain just behind and Sweden (3:23.40) rounding out the podium places after finishing just 0.10 behind Great Britain.

Italy just missed out on a medal place in fourth despite the host nation setting an impressive time of 3:23.62.

Ed Mildred, Jacob Whittle and Lucy Hope will also collect a medal after teaming with Anderson in this morning’s heats to send Great Britain through to the final.

Hopkin qualifies fifth fastest

Britain’s Anna Hopkin has progressed through to the Women’s 50m Freestyle final after a strong swim to go under the 25 second mark.

The Loughborough Performance Centre swimmer is taking on her first individual event in Rome and swam well to make it into the final.

Hopkin’s time was a 24.80 as she kept on pace with the world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem for the opening 30m’s in her semi-final.

She ended up third in her race but was comfortably through to tomorrow’s final where she will look to add to her medal tally.

Hopkin has already won two medals as part of Britain’s relay teams with one of those being gold in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle final.

Wilby misses out on final

Mason Wilby finished 16th fastest in the Men’s 200m Butterfly semi-finals.

Wilby performed well to lower his time from the heats by 0.40 in a difficult position from lane eight.

His final time was a 1:59.85 as the Loughborough University swimmer was less than three seconds off a place in the final.

He will take a lot from this experience as he ends the season with his senior British debut which will give him plenty of confidence going into 2023.

Colbert and Shanahan feature in semi-finals

Katie Shanahan set a new lifetime best as she won her Women’s 200m Individual Medley semi-final.

The City of Glasgow swimmer set a time of 2:11.84 as she moves onto the final as the fastest overall qualifier.

Shanahan started well and led at the halfway stage after pushing on in the backstroke leg.

She then fought hard to hold on towards the end as the trio of swimmers behind her closed up in the closing stages.

Freya Colbert looked to continue her form from her bronze medal in the 400m Individual Medley as she went in the same semi-final from lane one.

The Nova Centurion swimmer performed well but could only manage sixth in her race as she just missed out on tomorrow’s final.

She ended up ninth overall as she also set a new personal best in a time of 2:13.65 which means she will go into tomorrow as the first reserve.

Seventh for Maccines

Keanna Maccines finished seventh in the Women’s 100m Butterfly final.

The University of Stirling swimmer did well to move up a place after making the final as the eighth fastest swimmer.

She set a lifetime best to make the final and despite being narrowly slower she was still able to move up a place in a strong display.

Her time was a 58.68 with Sweden’s Louise Hansson taking gold in a time of 56.66.

Harris makes final

Medi Harris qualified for the Women’s 100m Backstroke final after finishing fourth overall.

She came into the semi-finals as the second fastest swimmer in the heats and kept up her fine form in Rome as she once again improved on her time.

The Swansea University swimmer knocked another 0.12 off her time from the morning session as she set a 1:00.03 to book a lane for the final.

It saw her finish third in her race with only Maaike De Waard from the Netherlands able to go quicker in the second semi-final.

The performance puts her right in medal contention for tomorrow as she looks to add to the three relay medals she’s already won on her senior British debut competition.