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Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 17:24 UK

Simmonds and Spofforth clinch British one-two

Elizabeth Simmonds

Simmonds leads GB backstroke one-two

Lizzie Simmonds led a British one-two in the 200m backstroke at the European Championships in Hungary, taking gold while Gemma Spofforth secured silver.

Simmonds, the world number one over 200m this year, held off a late burst by 100m world champion Spofforth to win in a time of two minutes 07.04 seconds.

Earlier, Britain's Liam Tancock won bronze in the 100m backstroke.

Tancock only qualified for the final by virtue of a withdrawal but took his chance superbly to get on the podium.

Tuesday's results leave Britain second in the European Championships medal table after two days of competition, with two gold medals, two silver and one bronze.

Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth

Simmonds and Spofforth thrilled with backstroke one-two

France, whose swimmers have earned seven medals led by Yannick Agnel and Camille Lacourt, top the table.

Despite one or two unexpected disappointments, such as teenager Achieng Ajulu-Bushell's failure to progress from her 100m breaststroke heats, British performances so far have been impressive.

To have claimed five medals by this point is an encouraging sign ahead of October's Commonwealth Games, from a squad which has not properly prepared for the Europeans as the Commonwealths are considered their priority.

The dominance of Simmonds and Spofforth to round off Tuesday's action was particularly evident as Simmonds, 19, continued her excellent form this season to leave her competitors trailing.

"I'm really, really pleased. Tonight was my big swim, I really went for it and it paid off," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Coming down that last leg, I wasn't entirely sure if I was ahead or not, there was a lane between me and Gemma. But I gave it everything hoping I could hang on. I touched the wall and saw the scoreboard in disbelief."

Rival and team-mate Spofforth, the 100m backstroke world champion, produced a late turn of speed to move up the field but could not catch Simmonds.

"There's a lot of disappointment there but a one-two is great, and great for the team," she said. "I wouldn't want to be beaten by anyone else but it's great to be beaten by Lizzie.

Liam Tancock

Tancock happy with surprise bronze

Tancock admitted he was fortunate to be in his final, having finished only ninth after the semi-finals.

Although he could not match Frenchman Lacourt, who stormed to gold in a new European record time of 52.11 seconds, he remained delighted to have made the most of his reprieve.

"Fate was on my side. When Markus Rogan pulled out, I jumped at the chance and sometimes you have to, even though I'm not fully prepared to be racing fast here," said Tancock.

"Two years back I came to the Europeans and just missed out on the final, then four days later I broke the world record.

"Don't beat yourself up when you don't do well, just enjoy it."

Meanwhile, Joe Roebuck and Robbie Renwick easily qualified for the finals of the men's 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle respectively, though Ross Davenport missed out in the semi-finals of the latter.

Renwick stormed into the 200m freestyle final, winning his semi-final in a time of 1:47.94 to finish fourth fastest overall, with Davenport down in 10th.

Roebuck and Renwick will be outside bets for medals in their finals on Wednesday, while Fran Halsall should be a strong contender for gold in the final of the women's 100m freestyle event.

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see also
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
Adlington heads GB team for Euros
28 May 10 |  Swimming
Adlington & Tancock set for Delhi
20 Apr 10 |  Swimming
Swimming calendar
17 Oct 00 |  Swimming
Swimming & Diving on the BBC
29 Jun 11 |  Swimming

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Frontier Post Simmonds, Spofforth clinch British one-two - 5 hrs ago
Borneo Post Online More British, French gold as Alshammar proves class - 6 hrs ago
Sporting Life HALSALL ADDS TO GOLD TALLY - 15 hrs ago
Telegraph Fran Halsall wins 100m freestyle gold - 20 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland More British, French gold in European swimming - 25 hrs ago


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