Jazz Carlin claimed Great Britain’s first gold medal and Chemical Engineering graduate Andrew Willis won bronze on his 25th birthday during an excellent day for University of Bath-based swimmers at the LEN European Short-Course Championships.
World champions Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn also booked their places in Friday’s finals as the British Swimming team – led by National Centre Bath Head Coach Dave McNulty – continued to impress in Israel.
Carlin’s gold – the first of her career at the European Short-Course Championships – came in a close finish to the 800m freestyle final, with the Brit’s time of 8:11.01 being three-tenths of a second faster than Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas. Bronze went to Sharon Rouwendaal of the Netherlands.
Willis celebrated his birthday in style by setting a new English record of 2:02.76 as he won 200m breaststroke bronze behind Germany’s Marco Kock and Daniel Gyurta of Hungary.
O’Connor was also in record-breaking form as she set a new British standard of 57.59 in the 100m Individual Medley semi-finals, qualifying as second fastest. She also contested the 50m butterfly final during a busy Thursday evening, finishing sixth in 25.69.
Walker-Hebborn was third-fastest in the 100m backstroke semi-finals in 50.74 and will be going for a medal at 4.37pm GMT on Friday. O’Connor’s medley final is at 4.47pm GMT.
The British Swimming National Centre Bath is based at the Sports Training Village, with training taking place in the £1.6million London 2012 Legacy Pool.