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Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Tuesday, 25 March 2008

GB women smash Euro medley record

Fran Halsall, Lizzie Simmonds, Kate Haywood and Jemma Lowe celebrate their victory
The British quartet put in a superb display to claim victory

Great Britain's women's 4x100m medley relay squad set a new European record as they successfully defended their European Championships title.

On the final turn, four-time European junior champion Fran Halsall went away from her Russian rival to touch in three minutes 59.33 seconds.

World finalist Lizzie Simmonds, 17, swam the opening backstroke leg for GB.

Kate Haywood produced a blistering breaststroke leg, before handing over to Jemma Lowe in the butterfly.

Simmonds said: "It's almost more exciting than the individual event because you're sharing it with the team.

"It's so exciting for me going first, because I can get out and watch the rest of the race which is brilliant for me."

Haywood, who like Simmonds comes from Lincoln, was delighted to have knocked more than two seconds off the previous European best.

"It's the first European record that I've ever had so I'm chuffed to bits with that. We all swam our hearts out and we got the result that we wanted," she said.

If we're only four seconds off the world record now, what's it going to be like in four years' time?

Fran Halsall

Halsall, who swam the anchor leg, felt the performance and the result were a sign of even better things to come at the 2012 Olympic games in London.

The Liverpool swimmer said: "The average age of the team is 18 so we should have another six years left between us.

"If we're only four seconds off the world record now, what's it going to be like in four years' time?"

The victory added to the gold won earlier in the day by 13-year-old diver Tom Daley in the 10m platform.

Earlier in the meet, David Davies in the 1500m freestyle and the women's 4x200m freestyle squad both claimed silvers.



see also
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming
Davies wins European silver medal
22 Mar 08 |  Swimming
GB women break record for silver
21 Mar 08 |  Swimming


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