Tokyo anticipation building as University of Bath-based swimmers add to growing medal haul at LEN European Championships in Budapest
There were more relay medals for James Guy, Tom Dean and Matt Richards plus a first individual podium place for Freya Anderson as University of Bath-based swimmers continue to excel at the LEN European Championships in Budapest.
British Swimming National Centre Bath star Guy, coached by David McNulty at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, was part of a mixed 4x100m medley relay quartet that obliterated the European record on Thursday night to win gold in 3:38.82.
The mixed medley is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo and University of Bath alumna Anna Hopkin, who brought the team of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty and Guy home in style, is excited by the prospect of further success this summer.
“I know we’ve got a huge shot at Olympic gold, so it means a lot to be a part of it here,” said Hopkin, who was coached by Mark Skimming while studying Sports & Exercise Science at the University. “I think we can all get quicker going into the Olympics, so it’s really exciting going forward.”
Thursday’s gold was a fourth relay medal in as many nights for Guy and came 24 hours after he and National Centre Bath team-mates Dean and Richards had teamed up with Duncan Scott to finish runners-up in the men’s 4x200m freestyle final.
Richards, coached by Jol Finck in the London 2012 Legacy Pool, said: “Just making the Olympics has been a dream of mine for a long time, so to be part of a team that’ll be challenging for a nice shiny medal come the summer will be amazing.
“It’s a huge learning experience for me being on this relay as it’s a very different event swimming it on a relay as it is as an individual but I’m surrounded by a lot of guys who’ve got a lot of experience and knowledge to pass down to me, so I’m in a good position and looking forward to going again in the summer.”
Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholar Dean had set a 100m freestyle personal best of 48.30 earlier in the evening, while Sports Performance graduate Calum Jarvis had played a key role in qualifying GB for the relay final.
After winning two relay titles at the start of the week, Anderson secured the first individual European long-course medal of her career as a strong finish to Thursday’s 200m freestyle final saw her claim bronze in 1:56.42.
“I knew it was going to be a really tight race and the four of us were head-to-head the whole way,” said Anderson, who is coached by McNulty. “It’s nice to win my first long-course individual medal and it’s a good confidence boost for the summer.”
A lightning last 50m and @freyaandersonn takes bronze! 🥉⚡️
The Bath-based swimmer was just 0.15 seconds away from the 200m Freestyle medal win having been over a second down at the 150m turn 🤯 pic.twitter.com/jKN9Xtp492
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) May 20, 2021
Other European Championships reports from this week
Pictures credit: LEN / Deep Blue Media.