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Britain's record European Championships medal haul

Rebecca Adlington

Adlington wins 400m freestyle gold

British swimmers brought home 18 medals from the 2010 European Championships, their best-ever European result, despite travelling to Hungary underprepared and unrested.

GB's focus is on October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where members of the British team will compete for their respective home nations against the might of the Australian team among others.

Here is a day-by-day guide to the medals GB won in Hungary, and a look ahead to their Commonwealth prospects.

MONDAY, 9 AUGUST

Hannah Miley
HANNAH MILEY (Gold)

Women's 400m individual medley

How she did it: Hungary's Katinka Hosszu set the early pace but Miley struck back over the freestyle leg, eventually going on to win by more than three seconds in a time of four minutes 33.09 seconds.

What she said: "I probably put more pressure on myself for London 2012 but I'm here to race and that's what I did. The target on my back is massive now. I've got everyone hunting me down."

At the Commonwealths: Miley will swim for Scotland and can expect a medal, but faces stiff competition for gold from Australia's Stephanie Rice, who holds the 400m IM world record and won three gold medals, this race included, at Beijing 2008.

Fran Halsall, Amy Smith, Jessica Sylvester and Jo Jackson
FRAN HALSALL, JO JACKSON, AMY SMITH & JESSICA SYLVESTER (Silver)

Women's 4x100m freestyle relay

How they did it: Britain and Sweden entered the last leg of this race neck-and-neck. Germany surged past both teams to win gold, but Jo Jackson edged out her Swedish rival to earn GB a silver medal.

What Jo Jackson said: "I was only drafted in at the last minute but I just wanted to do as well as I could for the team and that was a great result. It's a talented quartet and to grab the silver at the end was just what the girls deserved."

At the Commonwealths: All four swimmers will represent England in Delhi, Jackson having been named in the squad despite a start to her season dominated by asthma concerns, which severely affected her performance at Commonwealth trials. Australia's strong women's team will provide a tough test for England at the Games, with Canada also in the mix.

TUESDAY, 10 AUGUST

Liam Tancock
LIAM TANCOCK (Bronze)

Men's 100m backstroke

How he did it: Tancock was lucky to even make the final, having initially finished ninth-fastest in the semis before the withdrawal of Austria's Markus Rogan promoted him to the top eight. However the Devonian took full advantage, coming home in third from the outside lane.

What he said: "Outside lane, outside smoker - 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."

At the Commonwealths: Tancock will represent England and will be glad of a meet without the growing spectre of France's Camille Lacourt, who dominated Tancock's backstroke events in Budapest. Australians Hayden Stoeckel and Ashley Delaney are expected to be on Tancock's tail in Delhi, but he would hope to have the beating of them once fully tapered.

Gemma Spofforth and Lizzie Simmonds
LIZZIE SIMMONDS (Gold) and GEMMA SPOFFORTH (Silver)

Women's 200m backstroke

How they did it: Simmonds and Spofforth were expected to dominate the race, the main question being which of the British pair would take gold. Simmonds, 19, stayed ahead of her 23-year-old team-mate despite a late Spofforth charge.

What Lizzie Simmonds said: "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."

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

At the Commonwealths: Simmonds and Spofforth are in England's Commonwealth Games team but will be lucky to have things quite so easy in Delhi. Australian trio Belinda Hocking, Emily Seebohm and Meagen Nay all look dangerous over the 200m backstroke distance.

WEDNESDAY, 11 AUGUST

Fran Halsall
FRAN HALSALL (Gold)

Women's 100m freestyle

How she did it: Halsall was off the blocks like lightning and was never caught, roaring home in a time of 53.58secs to become European champion.

What she said: "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 I'd like to have raced were missing but there's time for that in the next two years."

At the Commonwealths: Halsall, who is the world silver medallist over this distance, looks a strong bet for gold in English colours in the Commonwealth pool. The retirement of Libby Trickett at the age of 24 has left Australia without a recognised 100m freestyle challenger of Halsall's calibre.

Joe Roebuck
JOE ROEBUCK (Bronze)

Men's 200m individual medley

How he did it: Roebuck did not seem a particularly likely medal prospect going into his final, but - while the cameras focused on Markus Rogan narrowly losing to home favourite Laszlo Cseh for gold - the 25-year-old found his way onto the podium behind them.

What he said: "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."

At the Commonwealths: Roebuck has England team-mate James Goddard, an absentee in Budapest, to contend with in Delhi, not to mention Australia's Leith Brodie and South Africa's Darian Townsend.

THURSDAY, 12 AUGUST

Hannah Miley
HANNAH MILEY (Bronze)

Women's 200m individual medley

How she did it: Going up against Katinka Hosszu once again, Miley had to settle for bronze, a result she had predicted before the race. The butterfly leg, the weak link in Miley's medley, left her playing catch-up and unable to pass Hosszu or her Hungarian team-mate Evelyn Verraszto.

What she said: "I'm finally starting to feel like a proper senior athlete at these meets. I am more experienced and more sure of myself and I know how to handle things and just take what happens in my stride," Miley told the Sportsbeat agency.

At the Commonwealths: Scotland's Miley has Australian duo Stephanie Rice (ranked first in the world in the 200m IM this year) and Emily Seebohm to contend with in Delhi, as well as New Zealand's Natalie Wiegersma.

Gemma Spofforth and Lizzie Simmonds
GEMMA SPOFFORTH (Gold) and LIZZIE SIMMONDS (Silver)

Women's 100m backstroke

How they did it: Spofforth gained revenge on British team-mate Simmonds after the latter's earlier win over the 200m distance. Germany's Daniela Samulski initially led, but Spofforth touched in first place in 59.80, marginally ahead of Simmonds.

What Gemma Spofforth said: "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."

What Lizzie Simmonds said: "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."

At the Commonwealths: The English pair will be likely to make the podium in Delhi, but the question is where, with the addition of Australia's Emily Seebohm to the start list. A gold medal for England is by no means guaranteed.

Liam Tancock
LIAM TANCOCK (Silver)

Men's 50m backstroke

How he did it: Tancock, this time through to the final on his own merits, found French star Camille Lacourt once again too tough to beat. Lacourt only missed Tancock's world record by three hundredths of a second, but the Briton led the chasing pack and picked up silver.

What he said: "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."

At the Commonwealths: There are three or four Australian swimmers, such as Hayden Stoeckel and Daiel Arnamnart, hovering on the edge of the world's top 10 in 50m backstroke, but nobody to match Lacourt and possibly nobody to match Tancock, who has been half a second quicker than any Australian this year.

Hannah Miley, Rebecca Adlington, Jo Jackson and Jazmin Carlin
REBECCA ADLINGTON, JAZMIN CARLIN, JO JACKSON & HANNAH MILEY (Bronze)

Women's 4x200m freestyle relay

How they did it: Adlington could do no better than sixth in the relay's opening leg, but Carlin hauled that up to fourth and Miley increased that to third, which Jackson consolidated for what had looked an unlikely bronze behind Hungary and France.

What Rebecca Adlington said: "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."

What Hannah Miley said: "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."

At the Commonwealths: Adlington and Jackson are English, while Miley is Scottish and Carlin competes for Wales, so this team will be split up in Delhi. Australia have yet to set a convincing time in this event this year and Canada have looked strong, but the forthcoming Pan Pacific event is likely to see Australia sharpen this up ahead of October.

FRIDAY, 13 AUGUST

Fran Halsall
FRAN HALSALL (Silver)

Women's 100m butterfly

How she did it: Faced with imposing Swedish duo Therese Alshammar and Sarah Sjoestroem, Halsall had a fight on her hands for a medal. Alshammar dropped off after an explosive start but team-mate Sjoestroem stayed clear of Halsall for gold.

What she said: "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."

At the Commonwealths: Australia has a wealth of butterfly talent at its disposal, including Stephanie Rice and Jessicah Schipper, but Halsall has been the quickest Commonwealth swimmer so far in 2010.

SUNDAY, 15 AUGUST

Fran Halsall
FRAN HALSALL (Bronze)

Women's 50m freestyle

How she did it: Picking up where she left off, Halsall dashed to third place in the 50m freestyle final but appeared upset not to have improved on bronze as she left the pool, having trailed Sweden's Therese Alshammar and Dutch swimmer Hinkelien Schreuder to the finish.

What she said: Halsall had to make a quick return to the pool for her medley relay, but later told the BBC: "It was a big challenge for me getting up and coming down again after the medals here, but I can't wait to swim again at the Commonwealths now."

At the Commonwealths: Libby Trickett's retirement and fellow Australian Cate Campbell's struggle with a mild form of chronic fatigue syndrome have damaged Australian hopes over some sprint distances, so Halsall has a strong hope of gold for England. Yolane Kukla, who will only just have turned 15 by the time of the Commonwealths, may be Australia's best bet.

Kate Haywood
KATE HAYWOOD (Silver)

Women's 50m breaststroke

How she did it: Having reached the final in a lifetime best, Haywood demolished that time to go even quicker and finish this final behind Russia's Yuliya Efimova.

What she said: Haywood had no time to chat ahead of her relay appearance but, following another medal there, said: "I thought I was going to come here and get no medals so to get two in one session, I'm so happy."

At the Commonwealths: Haywood had not been selected for England prior to this event, but her Euros performance will almost certainly lead to her inclusion in the English team for the Games. The breaststroke field is littered with Commonwealth talent, including Haywood's GB and England team-mate Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, plus Australians Sarah Katsoulis and Leisel Jones and a Canadian contingent led by Annamay Pierse, though she prefers the longer 200m distance.

Ellen Gandy
ELLEN GANDY (Bronze)

Women's 200m butterfly

How she did it: Gandy had a slow start but quickly rectified it and sat in behind Hungarian duo Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos for bronze on her 19th birthday.

What she said: "Walking out here was surreal, the sound was amazing and as soon as we dived in I heard the crowd start roaring. It was great experience having that, I haven't swum in a final like that before and I'm happy I could pull through. This success is brilliant and hopefully we'll finish strongly."

At the Commonwealths: Gandy is on the English team for Delhi and is ranked sixth in the world this year, the highest of any Commonwealth swimmer. However, with Australian duo Jessicah Schipper and Samantha Hamill seventh and eighth respectively, and GB team-mate Jemma Lowe swimming for Wales, competition for medals will be fierce.

Rebecca Adlington
REBECCA ADLINGTON (Gold)

Women's 400m freestyle

How she did it: Adlington recovered from her 800m horror-show earlier in the week to win over half the distance, with Italy's Federica Pellegrini pulling out of the event. Adlington let France's Ophelie Cyriell Etienne lead for much of the race before pulling ahead over the final 50m.

What she said: "That meant so much to me. It's better to come back here smiling than crying like I did after the 800m. I've got to stop worrying about other things - I just relaxed then and really enjoyed that race. The pressure has been huge but I'm not that type of person, I keep myself to myself."

At the Commonwealths: Olympic champion Adlington will spearhead English hopes in Delhi and her time in Budapest puts her second in the world this year. Australia may look to the likes of Bronte Barratt to challenge her but Adlington, on form, probably has enough to take gold - particularly with England team-mate Jo Jackson continuing to suffer asthma problems.

Kate Haywood, Amy Smith, Fran Halsall and Gemma Spofforth
FRAN HALSALL, KATE HAYWOOD, AMY SMITH & GEMMA SPOFFORTH (Gold)

Women's 4x100m medley relay

How they did it: The British quartet initially won silver with Amy Smith not quite able to catch Yuliya Efimova of Russia. But the Russians were left in tears as they were disqualified in the moments following the race, Efimova having gone to start her leg of the race too early, before her team-mate had finished. That handed the jubilant British team gold.

What Gemma Spofforth said: "We wanted to win it in our own way and I'm a little bit disappointed that we didn't."

What Amy Smith said: "That was nerve-wracking, I've not been in a position like that before. I was nervous but did what I could. We got the gold and that's what matters."

At the Commonwealths: Haywood is not yet a part of the English Commonwealth team but can expect to be named soon, at which point she will join Smith, Spofforth and Halsall, handing England the chance to operate the first-choice British team in the Delhi medley relay. Britain's time at the Euros is the fastest in the world this year (with Russia's having been wiped out) but watch the Pan Pacifics, later in August, for an indication of Australia's strength.



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see also
British relay men miss Euro medal
14 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Halsall claims second Euro medal
13 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Spofforth leads GB medals haul
12 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Halsall wins third British gold
11 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Super Simmonds still on the up
10 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Simmonds leads Britain to one-two
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 & 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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