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Three British medals on opening day of swimming at European Championships

Great Britain win one gold and two silver medals on the opening day of swimming at the European Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

The gold medal came in the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle final as a team made up of Lucy Hope, Anna Hopkin, Abbie Wood and Freya Anderson swam a new British record time of 3:34.17.

It was a dramatic finish but Anderson touched the wall just ahead of the team from the Netherlands to be crowned European champions.

Hope made a strong start with both Hopkin and Wood following up with superb swims in the middle legs. Anderson managed 52.70 seconds in the anchor leg to bring it home for Great Britain.

The team beat the previous British record by 1.6 seconds. They were just 0.16 ahead of the Dutch team with France claiming the bronze medal in a time of 3:35.92.

Wood said: “We are surprised! We came here to do the best we could but also to make ourselves more visible in respect with the men’s team.

“The result is very good, this a new British Record but this also qualifies us for Tokyo.”

Anderson added: “I knew we were close second or third and I really gave my best for the team. We are very, very happy and it’s an added plus we have set a new national record.”

The men’s team took silver in the same event to earn the first British Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle medal since 1962.

Tom Dean, Matthew Richards, James Guy and Duncan Scott teamed up to set another new British record.

Their time of 3:11.56 was just 1.15 seconds behind the gold medal winning team of Russia, with Italy finishing in third.

Dean said: “It’s great to win the first medal for Great Britain in this event in sixty years. The team is stronger than ever so it’s very exciting and it bodes well for the summer.”

Silver for Willmott

Earlier in the evening, Aimee Willmott swam a brilliant race in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley to take home the silver medal.

She finished in joint second place with Hungary’s Viktoria Mihalyvari, both clocking a time of 4:36.81.

The pair were just 2.05 seconds behind the gold medallist Katinka Hosszu, also of Hungary.

On her performance, Willmott said: “I feel really happy to be back on the podium after 2014. It was not as fast as I had hoped it would be but it’s a good platform for the summer.”

Peaty and Wilby through to final

Adam Peaty and James Wilby have qualified for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke final which will take place on the second day of swimming.

The pair featured in the second semi-final of the breaststroke event, with Wilby in lane two and Peaty in lane four.

An unbelievably strong second 50m from Peaty saw him qualify fastest with a time of 57.67 seconds, only one other person in history has swam under 58 seconds in this event.

Wilby finished third in the semi-final to qualify fourth fastest with his time of 58.80.

Hopkin through to final but Stephens and Jones miss out

Anna Hopkin qualified for the Women’s 50m Freestyle final with her fastest in season time of 24.66 seconds.

That was good enough to take fourth place in the second semi-final of the event, resulting in Hopkin taking lane seven in Tuesday’s final.

More semi-final action saw Laura Stephens and Harriet Jones battle for a place in the Women’s 100m Butterfly final.

Stephens clocked a time of 58.45 seconds while her teammate Harriet Jones touched the wall in 59.05 seconds, but both missed out on a place in the final.

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