Scholar Tom Dean and James Guy among the medals as British Swimming enjoy successful European Short-Course Championships
Sporting scholar Tom Dean won the first senior individual medal of his career and James Guy bagged a bronze as University of Bath-based swimmers contributed to a successful European Short-Course Championships for Great Britain in Glasgow.
Mechanical Engineering student Dean, who is supported in his dual careers by a Bill Whiteley Scholarship, gave the host nation a fantastic start to the week as he won 400m freestyle silver in 3:37.95.
Having only secured the last spot in the final, the 19-year-old – coached by David McNulty and Jol Finck at the British Swimming National Centre Bath – swam a measured race from lane eight before attacking the last 150m to move up from fifth to second.
“I’m really, really happy with that,” said Dean, who set several other short-course personal bests during the week. “I didn’t come here with expectations of a medal and the 400m free is so new to me, it’s only really been this season I’ve picked it up. Training with Jimmy (Guy) has pushed me harder on the longer sets, so I’m really happy.
“I didn’t think I could win a medal – I just thought I’d float the first 200 and see if I could stick with these bigger boys and I knew I had more to give down the back end. That’s my first senior individual medal, which is pretty cool.”
That success came on the opening day and there was another Bath swimmer on the podium on the closing day of the championships as Guy completed his international medal collection by winning bronze in the 200m butterfly.
He slipped out of the medal places after a strong start to the final but was determined to cap a positive week with a podium finish and dug deep to grab third spot by two-hundredths of a second, setting a new personal best of 1:51.73.
“This is amazing,” said Guy, who has now won medals at the Olympic Games, World Championships (long and short-course), European Championships (long and short-course) and Commonwealth Games.
“I knew if I stuck to my game plan and raced hard I’d be in with a chance of a medal. I knew I was up there with 50m to go and to finish, touch the wall and hear the crowd roar I thought, ‘have I won it’!
“It was a great swim, a PB and I haven’t actually done much fly work at the start of the season. Hopefully I can transfer what I’ve done in short course into long course now.”
The sprinter gained a deserved reward when she produced the fastest split time by a female racer in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay final to win a superb silver alongside Duncan Scott, Scott McLay and Freya Anderson in 1:28.64.
“It’s great that we’ve managed to get a medal in the relay,” said Hopkin, who was part of Mark Skimming’s student swimming squad in Bath. “We’ve come quite close each day, so it’s good to finally get on the podium.”