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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 March 2008, 09:22 GMT
European Swimming Ch'ships day four
BBC Radio 5 Live's Bob Ballard
At the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven

Cavic has been thrown out of the championships for his political statement
Cavic has been thrown out of the championships for his t-shirt logo
We're on our way British medals-wise that is...
The Great Britain 4x200m freestyle relay team smashed the national record by four-and-a-half seconds to take silver and very nearly snatched gold from the arms of the French.

Caitlin McClatchey showed the kind of form that brought her the Commonwealth Games title in the individual event, and was ably assisted by Joanne Jackson, Mel Marshall and debutant Ellen Gandy - the 16-year-old going sub two minutes on the third leg.

McClatchey's time was a blistering 1 minute 56.19 to anchor the side to second place. That bodes well for Beijing in five months time - and hopefully the men will follow suit. "Baffled" was the word David Davies used after his 1500m freestyle heat.

The Welshman usually posts times around the 15-minute mark when qualifying for finals, today he finished in 15.18.02 and was genuinely concerned that he wouldn't make the final eight.

As it turned out, the World and Olympic bronze medallist was second fastest behind the 400m champion Yuri Prilukov and on a par with World champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz.

Great Britain's 4x200m relay team receive their silver medals
Great Britain's 4x200m relay team receive their silver medals
In truth the medals should be settled between those three in Saturday evening's final.

The good news for fans of Davies, of whom I am unashamedly one, is that he felt comfortable in the heats, was unusually distracted by swimmers in adjoining lanes, and was probably in need of a swim like that to blow those winter cobwebs away.

He certainly is determined not to swim in the final like he did in the heat.

Kirsty Balfour admitted she was not at her very best in the semi-finals of the 200 metres breaststroke - but that was still good enough to put her in fourth place going into Saturday's final.

The defending European Champion is determined not to give here title without a fight.

One world record to mention - it's that of Frenchman Alain Bernard in the semi-final of the 100 metres freestyle. He clocked 47.60 to better Pieter van den Hoogenband's Olympic-winning time in 2000 by nearly a quarter of a second.

And in case you missed the news that broke on Friday - Milorad Cavic - who staged what was interpreted as a political protest on the winners' rostrum on Wednesday after winning the 50m butterfly, will take no part in the 100 event, for which he was favourite.

He was thrown out of the competition for wearing a T-shirt reading 'Kosovo is Serbian', but keeps his gold from the 50 fly, and the Serbian Swimming Federation has had to pay 7,000 euros (5,500) to the European Governing body, LEN.

Quite where that money goes is anyone's guess, I have my own theories which politically (that word again) I think I'd better keep to myself.



SEE ALSO
GB women break record for silver
21 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Davies in tough Olympic warm-up
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
European Swimming Ch'ships day two
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
European Swimming Ch'ships day one
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
GB swimmers prepare for Eindhoven
07 Mar 08 |  Swimming


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