Great Britain on top of medal table ahead of final day in BudapestMay 22, 2021
Team GB is on top of the medal table after an additional five medals have been won by the team on the penultimate day of racing at the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest.
World record holder and Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty picked up the first gold medal of the night in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke after having a commanding win in a time of 26.21.
After his race, Peaty said: “It was almost perfect execution there. It’s looking very promising if I can do that in a 50m with where I’m at right now.
“I really just wanted that win and that’s what it’s all about – finding a win when you can’t get your best – it was just about getting my hand on the wall first. It’s a great feeling and I’m born to race.”
Hopkin wins first individual medal with bronze
His Loughborough teammate Anna Hopkin kicked off the night with an impressive podium finish in the Women’s 100m Freestyle after posting a time of 53.43.
That mark saw her beating out sprinting ace Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands by the smallest of margins – just 0.01 of a second – for the final podium spot in the event.
Speaking on her performance, Hopkin said: “I’m so happy. I had in the back of my mind that a medal could be possible, but I didn’t want to think about it too much.
“I saw the time first, and I was really happy with that as it’s faster than I did at trials and then I saw the place! This week has been a real confidence boost and I think I’ve built nicely through the week too.
“After doing such good splits in the relays, I really wanted to do the same in the individual and do myself justice, so I’m glad I managed to do that.”
Unstoppable relays do it again
Britain added another relay gold to an already extensive list of wins in Budapest, this time in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay.
What has proved to be a massively successful competition for Britain’s team events continued after the quartet of Duncan Scott, Tom Dean, Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson swam to gold, equalling the championship record in the process.
Anderson and Hopkin split the exact same time with both athletes clocking 52.88 on their respective legs of the race, though it was Anderson who carried the team home to a win ahead of second-place finishers Holland.
The team finished with a time of 3:22.07 – 0.19 of a second ahead of their competition which was all they needed to ensure they topped the podium.
Speaking after the race, Anderson said:
“What was going through my head was just to keep building on the success the relays have had. I think all the relays with girls in have won gold, so I didn’t want to let that statistic down!”
Wood wins first senior international medal
An impressive display from Abbie Wood saw her winning a silver medal in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley in a time pf 2:10.03.
The Dave Hemmings-coached athlete has been in top form this year after having a breakthrough season in the 2020 International Swimming League while swimming for the NY Breakers.
Here, Wood bested the World record holder in this event, Katinka Hosszu, to come within just 0.04 of a gold medal. She was out-touched by Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko who broke the 2 minutes 10 barrier with a time of 2:09.9 to win gold.
A delighted Wood said after her race: “Racing in a senior final is completely different to anything I’ve done before and that’s my first individual senior medal.
“Just to be to do that and produce a good time on an international stage is all I’ve wanted, especially when we’re not as rested as we could be – I couldn’t have asked for much more, she added.
“Kicking off the week with three relay swims, which I didn’t really expect because I’m not a freestyler – but I guess now I am – to then focus on the individuals has been a hard turnaround.
“But with this back-to-back swimming, it will make Tokyo seem so easy when I’ve only got one swim per session – to double up last night is probably the biggest learning experience I could have got.”
Silver success for ‘over the moon’ Greenbank
Luke Greenbank completed a hat-trick of 1:54’s in the Men’s 200m Backstroke as he swam his way to a European silver medal in the final.
The Loughborough-based athlete clocked a time of 1:54.62 which is just off his British record time of 1:54.43 which he broke twice already while competing in the prelims and semifinal of this event.
The 24-year-old, who will make his Olympic debut later this summer, said: “If you’d have told me I’d have gone three 1:54s before this meet I’d have been over the moon! I took it out a little bit harder and suffered a bit towards the back end.
“But if you’d told me I was going to do that coming in, I’d have been over the moon.”