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Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 15:40 UK

European Swimming, day three as it happened


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1751: Fran Halsall collecting her gold medal on the podium, bubbling over with laughter, wraps up the third day of the European Championships. Yet more medals for Britain, with Rebecca Adlington to come for GB on Thursday. Make sure you're back here for 1600 BST. Over and out.

Get involved on 606
From spellbindingDannyboy on 606: "Lizzie Simmonds is the better technical swimmer in every department and is definitely on the up. Gemma Spofforth had her one day in the sun and will not be anything other than number two now."

Harsh? Or realistic? I know opinion is divided among the BBC team on who will pick up medals at the Commonwealths. The radio team say Simmonds, TV say Spofforth. What do you reckon?

1746: After the second semi, Liam Tancock is still second-fastest, so he'll be in the 50m backstroke final. "I had an average heat this morning but went back, saw there were things I needed to tweak and did that for tonight," he says. "Put me in a pool anywhere in the world and I'll give it my best shot, I'm enjoying every moment."

Lizzie Simmonds after 100m back semis: "To be here today with Spoff (Gemma Spofforth) leading the field on the backstroke is fantastic. Me and Gem have a giggle, we share stories in the call room."

Gemma Spofforth: "Today I was doing an Irish jig in there to the Stand Up song (the venue music during medal ceremonies)."

1742: Camille Lacourt of France is a monster of a swimmer and he wins the first semi in a time of 24.30, some distance away from anyone else in a new championship record. Tancock is second in 25.00 and will make the final but Lacourt is going to give the Devonian some sleepless nights on this form.

1740: One more set of races to go and one more British swimmer - Liam Tancock in the men's 50m backstroke semis. He's in the first semi, coming up now.

It's good news for GB
1738: The British duo look sparkling from their start and touch within four hundredths of each other at the halfway point. Hugging opposite sides of their lanes, it's Simmonds in 1:00.52, two tenths ahead of Spofforth, who wins the semi. Both will be through to the final with ease, and Simmonds goes through as the fastest qualifier. Another one-two in the offing? Spofforth won't be happy if she's denied gold again...

1734: Germany's Daniela Samulski wins the first semi in 1:00.54, which is the marker for Simmonds and Spofforth to concentrate on next. Not overly rapid. "That's well within their reach," says Karen Pickering. "The Brits can certainly go sub-60 seconds."

It's good news for GB
1731: Cor, blimey. Hungary is awash with happy Brits, and that medal table is turning into a bun fight between Britain and France. Women's 100m backstroke semi-finals now, where we may see some more British medals in the making. Lizzie Simmonds, Tuesday's golden girl, and Gemma Spofforth are both in the second race.

Joe Roebuck, European 200m IM bronze medallist: "I'd hoped for that, it was a little bit faster than last night. This is the first time I've done it on the big stage, I'm going to take it in and enjoy it. I was really disappointed I had to pull out of 200m fly this morning, 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."

From Sarah on Twitter: "I've got to say, I think Fran Halsall's gold was a superb swim to watch from any perspective!"

Fran Halsall, European 100m freestyle champion: "I was a bit nervous, I don't usually get that nervous. I went out quick, that's my strength and I have to work to it, then I dug in and held on. It feels really good to win 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. 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!"

Bronze medal boost for Britain
1722: Cseh, in front of his Hungarian home crowd, gets a ginormous roar from the fans in Budapest as his race begins, and he's ahead of Austria's Rogan at the halfway mark. However, it's incredibly tight going into the final leg, and Laszlo Cseh only just squeaks ahead of Rogan for gold in a time of 1:57.73. And Joe Roebuck gets the bronze for Britain! Nobody was even watching that because the battle for gold was so good, but Roebuck sneaks in for bronze, a superb result for him.

1720: Races are coming thick and fast. Hoping we'll get a word with Fran Halsall in a second, but first it's the men's 200m individual medley final, featuring Britain's Joe Roebuck. I think he'd concede he has an outside chance with Laszlo Cseh and Markus Rogan occupying the centre lanes.

1719: It being a 100m race it's over in a flash and you have to get a good start, which is exactly what Fran Halsall got. Her reactions were clearly a fraction ahead of anyone else's and she never let her grip on the race slide from there. Superb to watch from a British perspective.

Gold medal boost for GB
1716: Halsall gets a cracking start and she's ahead at the turn by eight hundredths. Nobody can touch her and, in a time of 53.58, Fran Halsall wins European 100m freestyle gold. Easy as you like, right?

1715: Here we go. Fran Halsall in lane three, big rivals Sjoestroem and Heemskerk in four and five.

Steve Parry, 5 live presenter and Olympic bronze medallist: "Fran and her room-mate Lizzie Simmonds could probably go home with six or seven medals. Fran has lightning speed."

1710: Karen Pickering says Fran Halsall will need to go under 54 seconds, possibly closer to 53, to have a chance of winning gold in this race.

Fran Halsall, heading into her 100m free final: "There's no pressure, we haven't tapered or anything. Of course I want to win though, that's why I'm here."

1706: Italy's Niccolo Beni nicks the second 200m fly semi-final by one hundredth of a second in a time of 1:58.87 ahead of Poland's Marcin Cieslak. That's only sixth-fastest overall though, with another Pole, Pawel Korzeniowski, the fastest qualifier. Now we have the men's 200m freestyle medal ceremony, so about five more minutes for Halsall to bite her nails. These ceremonies last forever. Quick, go and make yourself a tea.

1702: Heads up: Fran Halsall goes for Britain in the women's 100m freestyle final in a few minutes' time. Brit up arrow primed and ready.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1700: No Britons in the men's 200m fly semi-finals, so Bob Ballard is trying to convince 5 live sports extra colleague Steve Parry to reprise the role in which he won European gold in 2002 (and Olympic bronze two years later, for that matter). Parry asks: "Is there room for a little one? Is there a lane free?"

Robbie Renwick, fifth in the men's 200m free: "I'm absolutely killing right now if I'm honest but it was a great swim and I've got more left in me for the Commonwealth Games, it's given me confidence for that. I knew the programme would be tough here but it's the same for Delhi and this is great practice for it."

1656: Russia's Yuliya Efimova bobs home for gold in her neon pink cap, in a time of 1:06.32, which is a new championship record. There's a dead heat for silver between Rikke Moeller Pedersen and Jennie Johansson of Denmark and Sweden respectively.

1653: Up next is the women's 100m breaststroke final, where the start list is dominated by the Swedish, Germans and Russians. No Kate Haywood (disqualified for a fly kick off the start) or Achieng Ajulu-Bushell (who came last in her heat) so there's no British representation here.

1651: It's Paul Biedermann who eventually pulls away from a closely bunched group to take the 200m freestyle gold by half a body-length. Nikita Lobintsev, the older Russian in this final, is second, with Robbie Renwick fifth.

1648: After a brief pause for medal ceremonies we're into the men's 200m freestyle final, which could turn into a shoot-out between Germany's Paul Biedermann and impressive teenage Russian Daniil Izotov, who brought his team home to freestyle relay gold on Monday. Robbie Renwick goes in lane six for Britain.

Get involved on 606
From David on 606: "Lizzie Simmonds is swimming faster this year in textile than last year in polyurethane. We have already had some European and Championship records, so hopefully there are swimmers out there that will be able to erase some of the world records from the last couple of years. I'm sure they will go eventually."

Hannah Miley, who qualifies for the 200m IM final: "I'm chuffed with that, it's my season's best this year and I can't ask for more. My target was to go under 2:12 and I just did. The race tomorrow will see the Hungarians and French at the top of the list, and I'm pretty sure there'll be a first 2:09 or 2:10 in a textile suit. I'm going to relax, go in there, set my own targets and do the best I can do."

1638: Hannah Miley doesn't exactly explode into her semi-final but rather moseys her way through the field, moving up to third at the halfway point but leaving herself a little too much to do to win the race. France's Camille Muffat is fastest, while Miley finishes almost level with Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto behind her. Muffat sets a new championship record of 2:10.92 and Miley is through, but Aimee Willmott is knocked down to 10th and won't make the final.

Get involved on 606
From VillaFour on 606: "As Grainne Murphy has demonstrated, swimming in Ireland is on the up. The Northern Ireland squad will definitely be one to keep an eye on come the Commonwealths."

Rebecca Adlington was not the fastest in the 800m heats this morning - it was Murphy, who's only 17 years old.

1634: Hosszu duly wins her semi-final by a whisker from Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain in second. Aimee Willmott, back in fifth, will need to wait for the results of the second semi to see if she sneaks into the final.

1631: And now the return of Hannah Miley, Monday's gold medallist, to the pool for the semis of the women's 200m individual medley. Team-mate Aimee Willmott, 17 years old, goes in race one, and Miley's in race two. Miley avoids Monday's arch-rival and European record holder Katinka Hosszu, of Hungary, who's in the first race.

1628: Michael Jamieson, who will swim for Scotland at October's Commonwealth Games, "has some work to do" in this semi, which is commentator parlance for "not a prayer". Jamieson duly comes home sixth, with home favourite Daniel Gyurta romping to the win. Jamieson doesn't qualify for the final.

Faroese silver medallist Pal Joensen: "I'm pleased, it was a really good race. I would say this is the biggest swim in Faroese history at these championships."

But is it the greatest Faroese swim ever? Perhaps not. Heidi Andreasen of the same nation has five Paralympic medals to her name. Here endeth the Faroese lesson as the second men's 200m breaststroke semi begins.

1624: That first semi-final was magical, six swimmers lined up alongside each other and Luxembourg's Laurent Carnol, keeping the flag flying for incredibly small European nations, winning it in a time of 2:11.50, a fraction ahead of Norway's Alexander Dale Oen. Jamieson next.

1622: On we go to the men's 200m breaststroke semi-finals, which are devoid of Faroese interest. There is, however, Michael Jamieson of Great Britain to watch out for in the second semi.

1620: I'm reliably informed that this is the first medal won by a Faroese swimmer at any major championships. Does anybody know that for sure? (I'd be mightily impressed if you did.)

1619: No gold medal glory for the Faroes as France's Sebastien Rouault motors past Pal Joensen, timing his surge just right to become European champion in the men's 1500m free. Joensen takes silver for the Faroes. What about this French team? With one or two exceptions, they're dominant this week.

1617: One supposes, if you live in the Faroes, it helps to be able to swim long distances.

1616: Not often I get the chance to live-text the Faroe Islands on to glory, but it might just happen here. Pal Joensen of that parish, 19 years old, leads the men's 1500m freestyle with a couple of minutes to go.

From Owen Laverty on Twitter: "That 800m freestyle final on Thursday is mouthwatering. Outside the Olympics you'll struggle to find a stronger field."

1613: In the meantime and in case you didn't spot it, Rebecca Adlington breezed through her 800m heat earlier in the day. She'll be in Thursday's final, which promises to be must-see swimming with a very strong field. Don't miss it.

1611: If you're expecting the result of this 1500m final any time soon, it's worth advising you it takes a good 15 minutes unless you're Grant Hackett, who holds a storming world record of 14 minutes, 34 and a bit seconds. We've got about 12 lengths to go.

Get involved on 606
From Number6Valverde on 606: "I'm looking forward to this session. Fran is a definite medal possibility, Renwick could be in the mix for bronze and hopefully Roebuck can be in the mix too."

1606: No British representation in this opening race, largely because David Davies has overlooked taking part in the 1500m freestyle. He told us earlier that the Europeans "weren't really in his plans" as far as 2010 goes, and he's opted for the open water event instead, which took place last weekend and in which he faded towards the end.

1601: The first action of this session is the men's 1500m freestyle final and, in a minute, Michael Jamieson will be the first Briton into the pool in the second of the men's 200m breaststroke semi-finals. If you want to plan the rest of your week, check out our day-by-day guide for more details on what's coming up in the remainder of the week-long competition. By the way, refresh this page and live video will appear.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1557: BBC Radio 5 live sports extra is now on air with Steve Parry, Bob Ballard and Karen Pickering bringing you race-by-race commentary plus interviews with the British swimmers involved. Live TV coverage will be on air in a few minutes, you can watch on red button or on the BBC Sport website if you're in the UK.

Get involved on 606
From teassoc on 606: "Can't help but feel disappointed by many of the GB swimmers' performances. I know they aren't properly rested but some have been real flops. Kris Gilchrist, for example, not even making the semis. Fortunately the very best of our hopes have come through so far. It's that second tier - boys and girls - that haven't."

1551: Tuesday brought a British one-two in the women's 200m backstroke. Make sure you read Karen Pickering's analysis of gold medallist Lizzie Simmonds and then tell me: can Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth dominate the backstroke events at the Commonwealths, and London 2012? Get in touch via 606 or send me a tweet (I'm @BBCSport_Ollie). You can also text 81111 in the UK, or +447786200666 worldwide.

From Fran Halsall on Twitter: "Listening to Glee on the way to the pool - I'm so cool! Plan for tonight: don't miss the wall on the turn."

1545: That opportunity arrives in the form of 20-year-old Fran Halsall, world 100m freestyle silver medallist, who has a strong chance of European gold in the same event in the night's penultimate final. However, there is a vast amount of competition in that final - watch out for the likes of Swedish 16-year-old Sarah Sjoestroem and the Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk, who were the fastest two qualifiers.

1541: Hello, everybody. Day three of the European Swimming in Hungary and success has been free-flowing for Britain thus far. There are five finals coming up on Wednesday, and at least one excellent medal opportunity for GB.

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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
GB swimmers play down Euro hopes
07 Aug 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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