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Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 17:18 UK

Spofforth leads British medals haul at Europeans

European Swimming Championships 2010
Venue: Budapest Dates: 4-15 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK users only); listen on BBC 5 live sports extra, updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full details

Gemma Spofforth & Lizzie Simmonds embrace

Spofforth pips Simmonds in GB one-two

Gemma Spofforth led Britain to their second one-two of the European Championships in Budapest after taking gold in the women's 100m backstroke.

The 22-year-old held off team-mate Lizzie Simmonds - who won gold in the 200m backstroke on Monday - to touch first in a time of 59.80secs.

Liam Tancock took silver in the men's 50m backstroke while Hannah Miley added a bronze medal in the women's 200m IM.

And the women's 4x200m freestyle relay team clinched bronze in the final race.

The quartet of Rebecca Adlington, Jaz Carlin, Miley and Jo Jackson finished behind gold medallists Hungary, whose victory took the hosts' gold medal tally to three on day four, with 2008 champions France taking silver.

The GB quartet celebrate their bronze

GB take 200m relay bronze

"When we sit down and look at this result we'll see the positives, it's not the end of the world and hopefully we can stick it to them next time," said Miley, who had to prepare for the race just minutes after the 200m IM medal ceremony.

But there was disappointment for double Olympic champion Adlington in the 800m freestyle final, the first race of Thursday's evening session, finishing seventh behind gold medallist Lotte Friss from Denmark.

The defending world champion clocked eight minutes 23.27 seconds to touch first ahead of France's Ophelie Cyriell Etienne, while Irish teenager Grainne Murphy produced a superb performance in her debut championship race, only to narrowly miss a bronze medal.

An emotional Rebecca Adlington

Adlington distraught with seventh

But Adlington, the fastest woman over the distance this year, could only finish in seventh.

The 21-year-old fought back tears during a post-race interview, expressing her disappointment at finishing in 8:27.48, over four seconds behind Friss' time.

"I'm finding it difficult to deal with the pressure, I'm still trying to find my feet after Beijing," said Adlington after the 4x200m relay final.

"I'm not using that as an excuse but I've got to find something that works for me, I can't always win and get a world record, that's not realistic."

Spofforth's victory takes Britain's gold medal haul to four in four days and avenges the 22-year-old's defeat in the 200m final on Monday.

World record holder Spofforth turned second behind Daniela Samulski but took the lead with a superb turn as the German faded at the 60m mark.

Simmonds increased her intensity but could not produce the necessary power to overtake team-mate Spofforth, who clocked more than a second-and-a-half over her world record time of 58.12secs.

"I think the last 10m wasn't quite as strong as it normally is because I put in more speed at the beginning," said Florida-based Spofforth, who adds gold to her 200m silver.

"It was a hard race but it's good to come out the best. I would have preferred two golds, but you've got to share them."

Hungary's Katlinka Hosszu & Evelyn Verraszto celebrate

Miley wins 200m IM bronze

Tancock added silver to the bronze won in the 100m backstroke on Monday following a superb swim in the 50m race.

The 25-year-old finished in 24.70secs, 0.63secs behind Frenchman Camille Lacourt, who was just 0.03secs outside of Tancock's world record of 24.04.

"If someone told me I'd pick up a couple of medals without being fully ready a couple of months back, I'd have jumped at it," said a delighted Tancock.

"I can't wait for the Commonwealths now. It's nice to keep hold of my record but it's there to be broken and Lacourt is pushing the boundaries.

"Hopefully, when I'm fully ready to go, I'll be doing that too."

Miley completed the full complement of medals on Thursday behind Hungarian Kosszu, who was beaten in the closing stages of the freestyle leg of the 400m IM by her 21-year-old rival from Britain on Monday.

Kosszu finished in a time of 2:10.09, just 0.01secs ahead of compatriot Verraszto, while Miley was comfortably third in 2:10.89.

British record holder Simon Burnett just missed out on a place in the men's 100m final by 0.02secs as defending champion Alain Bernard of France and Russia's Evgeny Lagunov set an intimidating marker for Friday's final.


Oxford-born Burnett was ninth fastest from the two semi-finals with 49.16secs while team-mate Grant Turner 0.46secs further adrift.

"I had a shocking finish, it's as though as you get older you get more stupid," said Burnett.

"I've never been under 49 seconds in shorts, I'm happy but I'd like to have gone under."

Newly crowned 100m freestyle champion Francesca Halsall booked her place in the 100m butterfly after qualifying fourth fastest for Friday's final.

The 20-year-old clocked 58.35secs, just under a second behind world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden, who qualified fastest.

But team-mate Jemma Lowe missed out on a place in the final when she finished 10th fastest overall.

Stacey Tadd, who set a new English record in the women's 200m breaststroke heats with a time of two minutes, 27.99 seconds on Thursday morning, qualified for Friday's final.

The Bath swimmer finished sixth fastest behind Russia's Anastasia Chaun, who clocked the fastest time of the two semi-finals in 2:25.66.

"My nerves got the better of me a bit, I rushed my stroke a bit," said the 20-year-old. "Hopefully I can sort that out and go faster on Friday."

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see also
Halsall wins third British gold
11 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Simmonds leads Britain to one-two
10 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Super Simmonds still on the up
10 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Ajulu-Bushell misses Euro final
10 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Miley storms to European 400m win
09 Aug 10 |  Swimming
GB swimmers play down Euro hopes
07 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Swimming calendar
17 Oct 00 |  Swimming
Swimming & Diving on the BBC
29 Jun 11 |  Swimming

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Yorkshire Post Swimming: Simmonds and Spofforth reverse medal fortunes - 17 hrs ago
SINA Hungary gold medal haul at Euro swimming champs - 28 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Rebecca Addlington flops at European Championships after failing to make a splash - 34 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland More swimming gold for France and Britain - 38 hrs ago
Sky Sports Swimming: More GB joy - 40 hrs ago


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