Bath-based quartet help British Swimming make relay history during record-breaking start to 2021 LEN European Championships
University of Bath-based swimmers Freya Anderson, Tom Dean, James Guy and Matt Richards helped British Swimming make a record-breaking start to the 2021 LEN European Championships in Budapest on Monday.
Anderson, coached by David McNulty at the British Swimming National Centre Bath, swam a stunning 52.79 anchor leg to hold off a strong challenge from the Dutch team and secure a first-ever European gold for GB in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay in a British record time of 3:34.17.
“That was really good,” said Anderson, who was joined in the history-making quartet by Lucy Hope, Abbie Wood and University of Bath alumna Anna Hopkin, who had booked her place in Tuesday’s 50m freestyle final earlier in the evening.
“The pressure was on but I had to just remain calm, keep my head screwed on and get my hand on the wall first. The added pressure definitely makes me go faster!”
Moments later, there was another 4x100m freestyle relay medal to celebrate and another British record as the men’s quartet – three of whom train at the Team Bath Sports Training Village – finished runners-up in a time of 3:14.29 to end a 59-year medal drought for GB in the event.
Another British record in the relays! 🥳@tomdean00, @M4ttRichards, @Jimbob95goon and @Dunks_Scott shave 0.06 secs off the record and break a European medal duck of 59 years in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle event for silver 🥈👏 pic.twitter.com/rH2clcFjmT
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) May 17, 2021
Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholar Dean – who led off the quartet which also featured Bath team-mates Richards and Guy plus Duncan Scott – said: “We’re really happy to get a medal in this event after so long. I couldn’t put it down to a specific swim, it’s just when the team comes together. It bodes well for two months’ time when we’re stepping up in Tokyo and doing it.”
Richards, who is coached by Jol Finck in the London 2012 Legacy Pool, added: “It’s a great experience for me, this being my first senior international, to be in a team like this. It’s a great dynamic, a brilliant experience and hopefully the first of many.”
Pictures credit: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto