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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 15:37 UK

European Swimming, day four as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

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1800: A big day. Again. No individual medal for Becky Adlington but Britain now have 12 medals as a team, and that was only day four of seven. Fran Halsall and others will be back in the hunt for more medals on Friday - join me back here just before 1600 BST.

Martin Wilby, Gemma Spofforth's coach: "It was a difficult meet for all the Brits, it's a big meet in Europe but everybody's got an eye on the Commonwealths. For Gemma to come halfway round the world to swim this meet - it is important, but it's not - I wanted to see how she handled having a target on her back as opposed to chasing people. We've got to enjoy the process of getting to 2012 and not worry about it. British swimming is perceived very well worldwide, you just have to look at results here."

1755: That was certainly a lively finish to the day's proceedings. To think there were just two British golds here four years ago. Now there are medals coming out of the team's ears, and the only question is whether they ought to be upgrading the colour here or there.

Becky Adlington: "It was a good, solid swim but we all expected a little bit more. If I was at my best we would have won that if I was on form, it's a bit gutting. I'm finding it difficult to deal with the pressure, I'm still trying to find my feet after Beijing. I'm not using that as an excuse but I've got to find something that works for me, I can't always win and get a world record, that's not realistic."

Hannah Miley: "I think when we sit down and look at this result we'll see the positives, it's not the end of the world and hopefully we can stick it to them next time."

Jaz Carlin: "I've been waiting around, this is my first swim so I was a bit anxious going in. I'm happy to come away with a bronze, we wanted a bit more but hopefully we'll be on the podium in London 2012."

Jo Jackson: "We're definitely a team effort, there were four of us in there. We want to do our best, we know we're better than the time we did but we're all in heavy training and to come away with a medal, we should be really proud of ourselves."

1747: "Jaz Carlin has been in the shadows of Jo Jackson and Becky Adlington for a few years now," says Karen Pickering on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. "She really is starting to burst out and shine on her own now. She's a face to watch." Pickering and Steve Parry reckon the GB team could, fully prepared, take 10 seconds off the time they just posted.

Bronze medal boost for Britain
1744: Hungary, by a matter of hundredths, defeat France for the women's 4x200m freestyle gold, and if the arena had a roof then it wouldn't now, because the home fans go berserk. Meanwhile, Britain have somehow found their way into bronze medal position. That looked highly unlikely early on in this race, but Jo Jackson kept pushing and secured the medal. Remember the British aren't fully prepared for this competition. With that in mind, they would probably say a medal is an excellent result.

1742: Wow. Hannah Miley, two medals to the good this week, is in the mood for another and hauls Britain up to third place behind Hungary and France. It's up to Jo Jackson in the final leg...

Get involved on 606
From cobbler5 on 606: "I'm really not sure about this Simmonds/Spofforth thing. Spofforth seems to perform better at big meets under pressure, after a proper taper. Simmonds is more consistent and seems to be better at the 200m, which Spofforth is still learning. Spofforth led her college team to win the NCAA championships this year, and I suspect is a better team captain than Adlington, who seems to feel happier being left to concentrate on her swimming."

1740: Jazmin Carlin has brought Britain back into contention for fourth but France, Hungary and Sweden look out of reach unless GB can really turn this around.

1738: Rebecca Adlington is back in sixth as Germany lead from Hungary after the first leg.

Text in your views on 81111
From Dan in Northwich via text on 81111: "The Commonwealths have been prioritized because British Swimming had to nominate one event for funding targets. We have more chance of medals in the Commonwealths because overall the competition is weaker and we have more swimmers due to home nations competing separately. Problem for someone like Becky is how does this affect her confidence for Delhi?"

1734: Day four's final race is the women's 4x200m freestyle relay, where Rebecca Adlington, Jazmin Carlin, Hannah Miley and Jo Jackson will swim in that order (I think) for Britain in lane one. Only eight teams entered, so they drew lots for lanes. Being on the outside isn't that big an issue in a relay, so GB have a chance if Adlington regains some form and the remaining trio perform alongside her.

Stacey Tadd, through to 200m breaststroke final: "My nerves got the better of me a bit, I rushed my stroke a bit. Hopefully I can sort that out and go faster on Friday."

Liam Tancock, 50m backstroke silver medallist: "If someone told me I'd pick up a couple of medals without being fully ready a couple of months back, I'd have jumped at it. I can't wait for the Commonwealths now. It's nice to keep hold of my record but it's there to be broken and Camille Lacourt is pushing the boundaries. Hopefully, when I'm fully ready to go, I'll be doing that too."

1729: Gemma Spofforth and Lizzie Simmonds, running in reverse formation as far as Tuesday's one-two was concerned, ascend the podium once more to collect gold and silver respectively.

British silver medal boost
1727: Once again, Camille Lacourt destroys the field and misses Liam Tancock's world record of 24.04 by just three hundredths of a second. Tancock himself takes silver. Lacourt is going to give Tancock major backstroke headaches ahead of London 2012 on this form.

1724: Here's the penultimate race of the day, the men's 50m backstroke final. This could become a straight fight between GB's world champion Liam Tancock and French sensation Camille Lacourt, who has so far demolished all opposition in the pool this week.

1722: GB's Stacey Tadd starts to tire after the halfway mark in her 200m breaststroke semi-final, but comes back to finish fourth in 2:28.11, which is good enough for the final as the sixth-fastest time.

Twitter
From Paul Punter on Twitter: "Surely we can only criticise the swimmers if, after concentrating on the Commonwealth Games, they don't perform in Delhi?"

1717: Russia's Anastasia Chaun wins the first 200m breaststroke semi in 2:25.66. Britain's Stacey Tadd will go in the second race and knows anything under 2:29 is the time to aim at.

1714: We ran out of time to hear from GB's Fran Halsall earlier, after her 100m fly semi-final, where she came third. "I haven't been that fast unrested before, hopefully with a lie-in in the morning I can bring it down a fair bit to get in the mix on Friday night," she said. "I definitely think I can get in amongst it, there's no pressure on me, I just have to give it my best shot."

1710: Still to come: Liam Tancock in the men's 50m backstroke final, which is the next medal race after the women's 200m breaststroke semi-finals. Then the session comes to a conclusion with the women's 4x200m freestyle relay. Will Rebecca Adlington be able to regain her composure in time to make a difference in that race?

Lizzie Simmonds, 100m backstroke silver medallist: "Hopefully we can do the same as we've done here at the Commonwealth Games: lead the field and be the two winning the medals."

Text in your views on 81111
From John in Hatfield via text on 81111: "The commentators keep going on about Spofforth and Simmonds being near the lane rope. It's because of tactics and lane awareness. If you noticed, they were at opposite sides of their lane. It was so neither could see each other and to gain clear water."

Gemma Spofforth, European 100m backstroke champion: "I think the last 10m wasn't quite as strong as it normally is because I put in more speed at the beginning. It was a hard race but it's good to come out the best. I would have preferred two golds, but you've got to share them."

1703: Impressive Polish swimmer Pawel Korzeniowski edges his way ahead of Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov for the men's 200m fly gold.

British silver medal boost
Gold medal boost for GB
1658: Samulski leads at the halfway mark but then the British pair accelerate away, and it's Gemma Spofforth who finds the extra inches to touch for gold in 59.80, just ahead of Lizzie Simmonds! Simmonds 1, Spofforth 1. Dominant.

1655: "It's too close to call," says BBC TV commentator Andy Jameson. Simmonds v Spofforth, round two, ding!

1651: Gemma Spofforth will really, really want to beat Lizzie Simmonds in the women's 100m backstroke final. Steve Parry reckons she'll do it. I'm less convinced, I think a second Simmonds gold may be in the offing (not that I've got an Olympic medal backing that opinion up). There are, of course, six other swimmers who might like a say in this too. Daniela Samulski of Germany qualified second-fastest and goes in lane five.

Twitter
From heptathlete Kelly Sotherton on Twitter: "I feel for Becky Adlington, but if you're in heavy training for the Commonwealths, you can't be disappointed with your performance! It will come when it's meant to."

1646: Now then. Next is the women's 100m backstroke final. Don't you move an inch, because Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth, the Sharky and George of women's backstroke, are here again.

1645: No sweat for Daniel Gyurta as he leads Norway's Alexander Dale Oen home, taking gold for the host nation in the men's 200m breaststroke.

1642: Back to the action and Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, the European record holder, is off and motoring in the men's 200m breaststroke final.

1640: As we head into the Adlingtonless 800m freestyle medal ceremony, it's a good time to reflect on this tournament four years ago. Budapest 2006 brought Adlington's first medal, a silver in the same event. BBC Sport's Sharron Davies has a video looking back - and seeing how far Britain's swimmers, who won just two golds in 2006, have come.

1636: Plenty of people saying Rebecca Adlington should have focused on the Europeans, with an immensely strong field, rather than the Commonwealths which is likely to be weaker. However, it may not necessarily have been her decision. She certainly looked devastated to have finished seventh, what are your thoughts? Let us know on 606 or send me a tweet (I'm @BBCSport_Ollie on Twitter).

1632: Swedish duo Therese Alshammar and Sarah Sjoestroem dominate the second women's 100m fly semi. Sjoestroem and Alshammar are first and second respectively (the former is 16, the latter is double that), and Fran Halsall nips in third to make sure of her place in the final.

Simon Burnett, who missed the men's 100m free final: "I was really hurting a lot at the end of that race, which you could probably see. I had a shocking finish, it's as though as you get older you get more stupid. I've never been under 49 seconds in shorts, I'm happy but I'd like to have gone under."

1628: On to the women's 100m fly semis, where Jemma Lowe finishes fifth in 59.16, which leaves her place in the final in jeopardy. Fran Halsall's coming up for GB in race two.

1625: Russia's Evgeny Lagunov wins the second men's 100m free semi-final in 48.38 and he's the fastest qualifier, but Simon Burnett of Britain will miss the final by just two hundredths of a second, with Grant Turner further back. "That was a masterclass in what not to do on a finish," says 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Steve Parry of Burnett on 5 live sports extra.

Get involved on 606
From VillaFour on 606: "How unlucky was that for Grainne Murphy in the 800m free? A good PB for Grainne, considering she went flat out in the heats. Medal contender in 2012?"

It's bad news for GB
1620: "I've got the 4x200m later on, I need to pick myself up. It's hard when you're not rested," says a tearful Rebecca Adlington after finishing down in seventh, as the first men's 100m freestyle semi-final gets going. Simon Burnett and Grant Turner are in the second semi for Britain.

Bronze medal boost for Britain
1617: Hannah Miley battles her way up into the top four and then, with a last surge, takes the bronze behind Hungary's Katinka Hosszu and Hosszu's team-mate Evelyn Verraszto. Very impressive from Miley to come back after the fly leg, which is her weak point.

1613: So, one British medal hope may have been shot down but there are hatfuls remaining, starting with Hannah Miley in the 200m individual medley, coming up now.

1611: Denmark's Lotte Friis claims the European women's 800m freestyle gold in a time of 8:23.27, ahead of France's Ophelie-Cyrielle Etienne and Italy's Federica Pellegrini, which cruelly deprives Ireland's 17-year-old Grainne Murphy of a medal. Rebecca Adlington was nowhere, back in seventh.

1608: Adlington still hasn't hit the afterburner with 150m remaining. Remember, she did say she wasn't too sure about getting a medal here, given her lack of preparation with the Commonwealths ahead. Ireland's Grainne Murphy, on the other hand, is up in third.

Get involved on 606
From clarke_j on 606: "There's a more competitive field here than the Olympic final."

1604: Adlington et al are under way and the Briton is sat about half a second off the lead, without appearing to break too much sweat so far. France's Ophelie-Cyrielle Etienne is in front after 250m.

1601: Here we go, Rebecca Adlington is out and ready for the off in the women's 800m freestyle final. Should take the winner around eight and a half minutes to finish.

Get involved on 606
From MarktheHorn on 606: "How much should we read into these championships in terms of medal hopefuls? I personally feel we will be more successful in 2012 at swimming than athletics again."

1556: Don't forget, if you want to find out what's coming up throughout the rest of the week (the Euros go on until Sunday), then our day-by-day overview page has all the details.

1553: Rebecca Adlington will be in action in around 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in the morning's heats in Hungary, Stacey Tadd set a new English record of 2:27.99 in the women's 200m breaststroke. Tadd, who will be in the England team at the Commonwealths, goes in the second semi-final of that event a bit later.

Twitter
From Joanne Jackson on Twitter: "Looking forward to racing tonight in the 4x200m relay. Got some great events coming up tonight for team GB."

Get involved on 606
From Tiger Rose on 606: "This should be a great session for the Brits. Hopefully Becky Adlington can show she is getting back to her best after last year with a win in the 800m. I think Lizzie Simmonds will definitely win again, there was definitely more in the tank after that semi. There is also the women's 4x200m relay, which looks to be an open event."

What are your predictions? Let us know on 606 or send me a tweet (I'm @BBCSport_Ollie on Twitter, where I'm currently taking suggestions for swimming-TV-movie mash-ups. Face/Spoff, anyone? Tancock's Half Hour? Rogan's Heroes?)

1548: Adlington is far from the only British hope coming up. Hannah Miley and Liam Tancock both have medals to their name this week and are after more in the women's 200m individual medley and men's 50m backstroke respectively, then British backstroke behemoths Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth return for the 100m final after their 200m one-two on Tuesday.

1545: The biggest event of this session may well be the first race, the women's 800m freestyle final starring Britain's Rebecca Adlington in her first final appearance of the week. She's up against an incredibly tough field, though, and Adlington - in keeping with other top Britons - has not rested for the Europeans, preferring to focus on the Commonwealths. She has already played down her chances of winning this race.

1542: Day four's live action is almost upon us. You can watch live on BBC Two until 1630 BST, then head on over to the red button or, if you're in the UK, you can also watch all the action on our website, plus we'll have video highlights later. There is also live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 1555 BST with British Olympians Steve Parry and Karen Pickering poolside in Budapest.

1538: Hello, everybody. Here we all are again. After three medal-packed days of action for British swimmers, the question is: can it carry on getting better for GB?




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see also
Spofforth leads GB medals haul
12 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Halsall wins third British gold
11 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Euro Champs day-by-day guide
11 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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