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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 17:26 UK

Francesca Halsall wins third British gold 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

Francesca Hallsall

Halsall adds to GB gold haul

Francesca Halsall led from the front in the women's 100m freestyle final to claim Britain's third gold medal at the European Championships in Budapest.

The 20-year-old turned first at the halfway point before holding off Belarusian Aliaksandra Herasimenia to touch first in a time of 53.58secs.

"I went out quick, that's my strength and I have to work to it, then I dug in and held on," said Halsall.

The next race saw Briton Joe Roebuck win bronze in the men's 200m IM.

Home favourite and defending champion Laszlo Cseh held off the challenge of Austrian Markus Rogan to win the final in a time of 1:57.73, while 25-year-old Roebuck held off Israel's Nevo Gal to touch third in a time of 1:59.46.

"This is the first time I've done it on the big stage, I'm going to take it in and enjoy it," said the Loughborough swimmer, who withdrew from the 200m butterfly on Wednesday morning to concentrate on the medley.

"I was really disappointed I had to pull out of the 200m fly because the semi would have been one race before that final. But I really wanted that medal and wanted to give it all I'd got."

Gold medallist Laszlo Czech

Roebuck's sprint finish earns bronze

Halsall's success ensures Britain remain second in the medals table behind France with seven medals in total - three gold, two silver and two bronze.

The Loughborough swimmer, a world 100m freestyle silver medallist in Rome last year, had been in relaxed mood ahead of the final.

And her confidence shone through as she powered through the first 50m, turning first before holding off a spirited challenge from Herasimenia in the final 20m.

The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk took the third and final place on the podium.

"It feels really good to win the Europeans this year, a couple of girls were missing I'd like to have raced but there's time for that in the next two years," said a delighted Halsall, who has won two previous European relay gold medals.

Joe Roebuck

Relaxed Roebuck surprised with bronze

"I've got to get up tomorrow morning and keep my composure for the rest of the week now before I get excited. But I am actually ridiculously excited about it!"

Britain's Robbie Renwick missed out on a medal in the men's 200m freestyle final as Germany's Paul Biedermann successfully defended his 200m title with a time of 1:46.06, over four seconds off the world record he set last year at the World Championships in Rome.

Scot Renwick had been last at the turn before powering through to finish fifth with a time of 1.47:60.

Team-mate Michael Jamieson missed out on a place in the men's 100m breaststroke final after finishing sixth in his semi-final in 2:12.73secs, over two-and-a-half seconds behind winner Daniel Gyurta.

Francesca Halsall

Simmonds inspires Halsall to gold

Hannah Miley, winner of Britain's first gold medal in the 400m IM final on Monday, finished inside the top three of her semi-final to comfortably qualify for the 200m IM final on Thursday with a season's best of 2:11.90secs.

"I'm chuffed with that," said the 21-year-old. "My target was to go under 2:12 and I just did."

But team-mate Aimee Willmott missed out on a place in the final after finishing 10th overall as world silver medallist and home favourite Katinka Hosszu and France's Camille Muffat signalled their threat winning their respective semi-final races.

Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth, gold and silver medallists in the 200m backstroke on Tuesday, made smooth progress to Thursday's final of the 100m backstroke.

Simmonds, 19, won her heat in 1:00.77 in the morning and then edged her British team-mate in the second semi-final to win it in 1:00.52, with Spofforth the third fastest qualifier in 1:00.73 behind German Daniela Samulski, who won the first semi in 1:00.54.

And Liam Tancock, who won bronze in the 100m backstroke on Tuesday, qualified second fastest for Thursday's 50m backstroke final in 25.00, splitting Frenchmen Camille Lacourt (24.30) and Jeremy Stravius (25.02).

Earlier on day three, double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington won the third heat of the women's 800m in 8:30.05 to qualify third fastest for Thursday's final.

606: DEBATE
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The 21-year-old, who won silver at the 2006 European Championships in Budapest in her first major meeting, was happy with her swim even if her priority this year is the Commonwealth Games in October.

"I don't feel as good as I normally do, although it felt a bit quicker than the actual time I did," she told BBC Sport.

"It's a lot harder racing when you know the other girls are in their best shape of the year and we have still got another six weeks before our main competition.

"But it is a good chance to race and get involved and hopefully tomorrow [Thursday] night will be alright."

Irish teenager Grainne Murphy was quickest in 8:28.91 while world 400m freestyle champion Federica Pellegrini of Italy won her heat in 8:32.94.

In the first of Wednesday's finals, Pal Joensen became the first competitor to win a medal of any colour for the Faroe Islands when he finished second in the men's 1500m behind Sebastian Roualt.

The 19-year-old Joensen had led for almost 1300m before Frenchman Roualt powered through to take gold.

"I would say this is the biggest swim in Faroese history at these championships," beamed a delighted Joensen.

European record holder Yuliya Efrimova took gold in the women's 100m breaststroke, a final with no British representation, in a time of 1.06:32.

The Russian was over a second faster than Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen while Sweden's Jennie Johansson took bronze.



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see also
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
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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