Britain's Mixed Medley Relay team smash European record to win goldMay 20, 2021
It was a record breaking swim by the British Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team as they won gold at the European Aquatics Championships.
The quartet of gold medallists to smash the European record on the fourth day of swimming were Anna Hopkin, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Kathleen Dawson.
The result marked the fourth time in a row at the European Championships that Team GB have won gold in this event.
A time of 3:38.82 was 1.36 ahead of the previous European record of 3:40.18 and only 0.26 outside the current world record time of 3:38.56, held by China.
Leading the team was Kathleen Dawson who managed a 58.43 seconds Backstroke leg, followed by a sensational 57.13 second Breaststroke leg from Adam Peaty.
Next up was James Guy who swam 50.61 seconds for the Butterfly leg and Anna Hopkin anchored the GB team to gold with an impressive freestyle swim in 52.65 seconds.
Silver medals have also been won in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle Relays.
After their win, Hopkin said: “These guys got me a pretty good lead, I really didn’t want to lose that!
“I definitely felt a little pressure, but I tried not to overthink it – I didn’t want to look at where anyone else in the race was and just focused on what I was doing.
“I was really happy with that. I’m building through the week so I was just glad to get a shot at it tonight.
“This relay, I know we’ve got a huge shot at Olympic gold, so it means a lot to be a part of it here. I think we can all get quicker going into the Olympics, so it’s really exciting going forward.”
Peaty added: “Hopefully we can all perform at the Olympics as we should, get some good taper, some good individual performances and then that relay takes care of itself.
“This has made me more excited heading to the Olympics now, this event, it’s the first time in a long time that we’ve felt we can break that world record.
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of this relay, and as we mature and develop as a team, it’s only going to go up from here.”
The team from the Netherlands finished in second place, 2.46 seconds behind the Brits, and the Italian team were the bronze medallists (3:42.30).
Brilliant bronze for Anderson
In the individual events, Freya Anderson won a bronze medal in the Women’s 200m Freestyle final.
She swam a brilliant final 50m to make it a close finish, with just 0.28 between first and fourth place.
Anderson clocked a time of 1:56.42 to finish in third, as she described the race as a ‘good confidence boost’.
She said: “I knew it was going to be a really tight race and the four of us were head-to-head the whole way.
“It’s nice to win my first long-course individual medal and it’s a good confidence boost for the summer.”
Barbora Seemanova of the Czech Republic took home the gold medal in a time of 1:56.27 followed by Italy’s Federica Pellegrini in second (1:56.29).
Backstroke best from Greenbank
Luke Greenbank finished seventh in the Men’s 100m Backstroke final but showed that he’s heading in the right direction after he bettered his lifetime best.
The 23-year-old, who was pre-selected for the Tokyo Olympics, touched the wall in 53.34 seconds.
It was an improvement of 0.35 on his previous best, which was 53.69 seconds.
The women’s event had their semi-finals, with Cassie Wild featuring in the first semi-final and Kathleen Dawson in the second.
Dawson set a new championship record time with her 58.44 second swim, as she qualified fastest for the final.
Wild finished third in her race, with her time of 59.75 seconds enough to also see her through to tomorrow’s final.
Two Brits in Butterfly final
In the Women’s 200m Butterfly, it was a strong start from the British athletes Keanna MacInnes and Laura Stephens.
McInnes was ahead at the 50m mark, and Stephens was in third by the half way point, but the pair slipped down the positions in the latter stages of the race.
Laura Stephens finished in seventh after touching the wall in 2:09.39 and 19-year-old MacInnes set a time of 2:09.76 to finish in eighth place.
Wilby and Murdoch miss podium places
James Wilby and Ross Murdoch featured in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke final but missed out on medal places.
Murdoch set off in lane one and finished in fifth place, his time of 2:08.58 was just 07.92 off third place.
Wilby was in lane two next to his British teammate and managed a time of 2:10.34 as he finished in eighth place.
After the race, Wilby took to Twitter to say: “Ideally tonight would have been slightly different.
“But with the eyes on a much bigger prize, I’m content with taking as many learnings from it as possible. More racing to come and this team is absolutely firing now.”
The semi-final of the women’s event saw Abbie Wood and Molly Renshaw go head-to-head in centre lanes.
The pair pulled away from the rest of the field and it was Renshaw who won the battle, but there was just 0.31 between them.
Renshaw’s time of 2:21.55 was the fastest qualifying with Wood’s 2:21.86 the second fastest.
The final will take place on the fifth day of swimming action.
Duncan Scott and Tom Dean qualify for final
Both GB swimmers in the Men’s 200m Freestyle semi-final, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott, qualified for the final.
The pair were part of a stacked second semi-final which saw Scott (1:46.15) finish in second place with Dean (1:46.17) in third. Only Russia’s Martin Malyutin qualified faster (1:45.60).
Duncan Scott also competed in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final alongside Max Litchfield.
Scott’s time of 1:58.18 resulted in a sixth place finish with Litchfield touching in eighth (1:58.52).