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Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 15:40 UK

European Swimming, day five as it happened


You can use Twitter or 606 to get involved, or text us your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with "SWIMMING" as the first word. (Not all comments can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard rate.)

1748: That's us done for Friday. Two days to go and GB's Antony James is in action on Saturday in the men's 100m fly final, plus we have the men's 4x200m freestyle relay as well. See you then.

Ben Titley, coach to GB stars including Fran Halsall: "Fran is a brilliant competitor, she'll be happy once she sees the 100m fly final again and sees the Swedish girl nearly lost it rather than Fran nearly winning it. It's good for the British team to be hungry after not winning even if they perform well. Lizzie Simmonds wasn't happy with silver in the backstroke and I've never seen her not happy."

BBC Radio 5 Live
GB head coach Dennis Pursley: "The British team are far exceeding my expectations. I came in here just hoping we'd be standing up and racing tough. I didn't expect as many medals or PBs as we've had, with swimmers who are for the most part swimming through this meet looking ahead to the Commonwealths."

1733: One last Q&A with open-water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne, who's been with me throughout this session. Speed_Endurance sends this via Twitter: "Does Keri-Anne still consider Larissa Ilchenko her biggest rival in the 10km?"

Keri-Anne Payne replies: "She's not had a brilliant Worlds both last year and this year, she did really badly at the Europeans this year and I heard a rumour that she may no longer be a swimmer. I can't confirm that but I heard it on the grapevine. I'd say my biggest rival is myself, even if that's a cliched answer. I need to get back to my best. I know what I've done wrong and what I need to improve on, which is exciting for me."

1729: Ireland's Barry Murphy comes second in 27.60 in the second semi-final, so he'll go through to the men's 50m breaststroke final.

1725: The men's 50m breaststroke semis draw events to a close on Friday, in what has been a short but sweet session in Budapest. The first semi is won by Dutchman Lennart Stekelenburg in 27.44. British interest for the day is over, but there's more to come over the weekend - more on that shortly.

Sarah Sjoestroem, European 100m fly champion: "That turned out very good. I felt a lot of relief when I won, I didn't really expect to win, my technique hadn't been very good before the competition. I'm very happy right now. I knew I was faster than (Swedish team-mate) Therese Alshammar in the last 50m."

Text in your views on 81111
From Mark in Camberley via text on 81111: "Brilliant swimming from Fran Halsall - silver and the British record to boot. Bring on the Aussies in Delhi!"

Fran Halsall, 100m fly silver medallist: "I wanted the gold, I wanted it very much but I haven't got long enough arms! I've got to be happy though, it was a personal best, a really good swim. Losing by eight hundredths of a second - I'll feel that for the next year's training, that'll be a lot of motivation. Just missing the gold is annoying.

"It's still been a great meet for me and good preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I now know what it's like to get medals then come down and prepare properly the next day, it's good preparation for that."

Get involved on 606
From Andy on 606: "Watching this stealthily at work has finally convinced me to join my local masters club after 12 years out of the pool. Looking forward to making a wally out of myself at a pool near you very soon."

British silver medal boost
1713: Sweden's Therese Alshammar gives an education in a fly start, roaring away, but it's team-mate Sarah Sjoestroem who comes back to win with Fran Halsall a fraction behind her. Halsall was so close to gold, but silver is a great effort.

1710: Back to the action, and the fastest swimmer in the men's 200m backstroke semis is 18-year-old Pole Radoslaw Kawecki in 1:57.84. Now then, here comes Fran Halsall for the women's 100m fly final. Swedish duo Sarah Sjoestroem and Therese Alshammar are the ones to beat. Anything more than bronze would be a real performance.

From OAPTatter on Twitter: "Can you ask Keri-Anne if they can hear anything the crowd cheers while swimming?"

Keri-Anne Payne replies: "You can hear the crowd, not specifics but more a loud noise! Sometimes a coach has a specific whistle, you can usually hear that, but it's normally only used to encourage you."

From Paul Punter on Twitter: "Watching David Davies at the weekend, I wondered how Keri-Anne would fare at 1500m. She was/is our junior record holder."

Keri-Anne Payne replies: "I haven't done 1500m for so long, I'm not even sure if I remember how to swim them, it's so different from open-water. I guess the principle is the same. No part of me wants to be in that pool for the 1500m any more, it's difficult when it's not an Olympic event."

1701: More Keri-Anne Payne Q&A in a sec. Just a nod meanwhile to the men's 200m backstroke semi-finals, which are getting under way. No British representation here, but Fran Halsall will be in her women's 100m fly final after this.

From The Wobbly Block on Twitter: "Please ask Keri-Anne how she thinks we would now be doing if Bill Sweetenham were still in charge? And ask her for her most important piece of advice when making the transition from pool swimming to open water?"

Keri-Anne replies: "Bill Sweetenham was very regimented in the way we did things, so a lot of the seniors back then were juniors and they learnt the hard way how to be very professional. Now, with Michael Scott, he has a relaxed but no-nonsense approach and he gives us the freedom that we never had with Sweetenham to do our own thing which is working very well for the girls - but we still have that regimental style from Sweetenham. If he was here now he might put more pressure on the team to succeed than is needed."

On the transition from pool to open-water: "You should just give it a go and do it. My coach told me, there's an open-water event, do you fancy it? I said yes and it went from there. The physicality of it is a mental thing you have to to deal with, it's not everybody's cup of tea."

1656: While medal ceremonies are taking place, I have some questions from you and answers from open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne...

1651: Those women's 50m backstroke semis passed in a blur. Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus sets a championship record in the second semi, in 27.98. For full timings go to Omega's live timing site and select day five.

It's good news for GB
Monique Gladding, 10m synchro diving bronze medallist: "I'm so happy to get that medal after what has been a really tough year for both of us. It's great to turn the corner and show what we can do when we're fit. I had hip surgery this time last year and the recovery from that is a long process but I feel like I'm well on the way and results like this really help."

1648: It's swimming on fast-forward. There is literally no time to draw breath from that madcap 100m free final, because we're already into the women's 50m backstroke semis. No Lizzie Simmonds or Gemma Spofforth in this - they were given the option but didn't feel they had the speed or inclination, given the other demands on their time, such as winning every other medal on offer.

1645: And Alain Bernard duly delivers for France by the most ridiculously slim of margins, with about five swimmers plunging for the wall at the same time. What a race that was. I take it back, practically the whole field touched at once. The first five were separated by two tenths of a second. Madness.

1643: Next up is the men's 100m freestyle final. No British representation here, so France could nip a little further ahead in the medal standings if Alain Bernard can take gold from lane five.

1641: Stacey Tadd was always going to struggle in this final and finds herself well back early on, finishing seventh as Russia's Anastasia Chaun surges back on the final leg to beat Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen to gold in a time of 2:23.50, a new championship record.

1637: Britain's Stacey Tadd is about to go in the women's 200m breaststroke final.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1633: Who knows if that vogue move will make a return? Here's the expert view of Karen Pickering on what we can expect from Fran Halsall in the women's 100m fly final, coming up shortly:

"The biggest competition is going to come from the two Swedes, 16-year-old Sarah Sjoestroem and 32-year-old Therese Alshammar. That shows the difference and variety you can have in swimming, it's impressive to see Therese still swimming. But Fran can get into the mix."

From axbell on Twitter: "I miss Fran Halsall doing the vogue move at the end of her races, like she did in the Manchester meet."

Antony James, through to the 100m fly final: "I'm pleased with that. My 50m fly was a bit rusty but I got it back in the 100m today. These guys have all got a few years on me, the way I see it I've got six more years in me than they have. I'm looking to go into that final and gain some experience for 2012."

It's good news for GB
1628: Antony James gets fourth place in his semi, and makes it into the men's 100m fly final, a very strong swim. That'll see him into his first European senior final on Saturday.

Jo Jackson, who misses the 200m freestyle final: "It's a bit like coming fourth, it's a rubbish place to be. I gave 100% and if that's all I've got then it's good enough. I've learnt a lot this week, I'm looking forward to the Commonwealths now."

Jaz Carlin: "I'm more of a 400m/800m swimmer so it was always hard. When I saw all the other girls so far ahead I panicked a bit and rushed my stroke."

1624: Russia's Evegny Korotyshkin wins the first men's 100m fly semi-final. Britain's Antony James is about to go in the second race.

1623: British open-water star Keri-Anne Payne is alongside us. Any questions for her about the success of the British women this week, or her own ambitions for the Commonwealths and beyond? Get in touch on 606 or send a tweet and I'll get you an answer.

1620: Jaz Carlin doesn't get the best of starts and finds herself playing catch-up throughout her women's 200m freestyle semi. World record-holder Federica Pellegrini wins the semi in 1:56.53, but neither Carlin nor Jo Jackson, who finishes ninth overall, will make the final. A disappointing race for Britain.

1617: By the way, we have a special guest here for this session. More details after this race.

1616: The target time set by Camille Muffat of France, in the opening women's 200m freestyle semi, is 1:57.97. Here come Carlin and Jackson, who between them have kept Hannah Miley out of these semi-finals as GB are not allowed more than two entrants.

Get involved on 606
From Tiger Rose on 606: "The biggest challenge for British Swimming is to get the men to start stepping up. Results at European Juniors suggest that this isn't going to change anytime soon.

"The Commonwealths should be interesting as the Aussies are also much stronger on the women's side. Highlights for me will be the 100m back with Lizzie, Gemma & Emily Seebohm and the 400IM Hannah Miley vs Olympic Champ Stephanie Rice."

1613: Jo Jackson and Jaz Carlin are coming up shortly, in the second of the women's 200m freestyle semi-finals. "It wasn't a great swim for me but I've made it through to the semi, which is the main thing," said Jackson after her heat earlier. "Hopefully I can pick it up a bit and go quite a bit quicker tonight."

1610: A thriller of a men's 800m freestyle final is won by Sebastien Rouault of France, who pulls his country a little further ahead of Britain at the top of the medal table with a new championship record. He was just ahead of Germany's Christian Kubusch, who led for most of the race.

1608: With 200m to go in the men's 800m freestyle final, Germany's Christian Kubusch is just ahead of France's Sebastian Rouault.

Bronze medal boost for Britain
1606: By the way, within the last hour Britain's Monique Gladding and Megan Sylvester have won bronze in the women's 10m synchro platform dive in Budapest, which is an excellent result by British women's diving's standards.

"It's great to be the only GB ladies to get on that podium for a lot of years," Sylvester told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

1602: First up it's the men's 800m freestyle final. Two Hungarians go in front of their home crowd, Gergo Kis and Gergely Gyurta, but Sebastien Rouault of France will be in contention for gold, and Pal Joensen - who won the Faroe Islands' first major competitive swimming medal earlier this week - is back in action.

1559: Ok, we're almost ready to go. If you live in the UK you have a choice of live video coverage online or on the red button starting imminently, or commentary from BBC Radio 5 live sports extra which is already on air. If you live elsewhere, you have me, and I'm primed for two more hours of live swimming.

From Rebecca Adlington on Twitter: "Tonight should be interesting. Apparently there is a storm coming our way in an hour's time! Not fun when you swim outdoor!"

Get involved on 606
From teassoc on 606: "It says something about the very high standards we are now expecting from this GB team, that some of us are expressing some disappointments. Even unrested GB are going to have the best meet results by far. Makes you wonder how they would have fared if this had been the main meet of the year."

1553: Other events to watch out for are the women's 200m freestyle semi-finals - GB's Jaz Carlin and Jo Jackson are in the second race - and the men's 100m fly semis, where GB's Antony James qualified fifth-fastest from the earlier heats. As ever, our day-by-day guide has more info on what to expect from the rest of the session and the weekend's action, too.

1551: Ever get the feeling you're being watched? I've had a message from Twitter to tell me Fran Halsall is now following my tweets. Best behaviour for me on Twitter, then. However, chances are she's probably not reading this (if she is, about an hour out from her final, then that's concerning in itself).

So quick, while she's not looking: what are the big issues coming out of this week's swimming in Budapest? What do you make of GB's performances so far, and can we learn much for the Commonwealths and beyond, regardless of how rested or otherwise the team are? Let me know your thoughts on 606 or send me a tweet (I'm @BBCSport_Ollie on Twitter).

From Fran Halsall on Twitter: "100m fly final tonight! Hopefully I can pull a good one out of the bag!"

1544: Well, the bad news for British fans is there can only be two more GB medals in this session (which starts at 1600 BST) at an absolute maximum. Two of the four finals have British representation: Stacey Tadd in the 200m breaststroke, and Fran Halsall in the 100m fly. Tadd is a real outsider for a medal, whereas Halsall will be keen to reach the podium at least.

1541: Look at you, bounding back over here in fervent expectation of more British swimming medals on day five of the European Championships in Hungary. Twelve so far and it's just not enough for you, is it? Greed, that's what it is. Greed.

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see also
Halsall claims second Euro medal
13 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Spofforth leads GB medals haul
12 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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