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Swimming - 24. July 2007.

THREE GOLDS FOR BRITAIN ON FINAL DAY


In the women’s 100m Backstroke, Lizzie Simmonds claimed gold, setting a new Championship record in the women’s 100m Backstroke.

Leading from the start, Simmonds produced a great performance to take the team’s first medal of the evening, touching in 1:01.37.

Silver went to Christin Zenner of Germany in 1:03.35, and Iwona Lefanowicz of Poland taking bronze in 1:03.58.


Zoe Hester also competed in the final of the women’s 200m Backstroke with a good swim to come eighth in 1:05.71.

Four events later, Simmonds took to the water for her second final of the evening in the women’s 200m Individual Medley.

Simmonds made a steady start, and turned first at the 100m mark Simmonds had a two second lead over her nearest rival.

With a superb performance having already competed in one final the sane evening, Simmonds finished in 2:14.44, just outside British record pace with teammate Emma Smithurst finishing in fifth with a time of 2:20.16.

She then went on to take the first leg in the women’s 4x100m Medley Relay final, where the British quartet all put in a great swims to take the gold medal.

Simmonds took the first leg (Backstroke), with Alex Warren (Breaststroke), Ellen Gandy (Butterfly) and Lauren Collins (Freestyle), taking the medal ahead of the Russian team (4:10.24) in a new Championship record of 4:09.29.

“I feel absolutely fantastic, it has been a great day for the squad,” said Simmonds.

“I was very tired after the 100m Backstroke final and just went all out in the 200m Individual Medley and am really pleased to get the gold. To then go and get gold in the relay was fantastic,”

Lauren Collins swam the final leg of the relay and was just as happy as Simmonds.

“I feel amazing, completely over the moon. It was a great way for us to end the competition.”

Bronze went to Sweden in a time of 4:13.21.

 

Winning three gold and one silver medal on the final night of competition in Antwerp means the British squad have exceeded their greatest medal count at an Offshore Meet, with 16 medals (6 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze), leaving them second in the medal table.

British Swimming’s Director pf World Class Programme’s John Atkinson was keen to praise all members of the team on a job well done.

“Following the European Junior Championships in Palma last year where the squad won 15 medals, this is the best result ever for a British junior squad,” said Atkinson.

“Coming into this meet we knew that we had to work hard to beat this tally, and that we would have to succeed in the relay events. The swimmers and coaches did a fantastic job to surpass last years’ performance.”

The relay events have been a focus for the squad, and the team did not fail to deliver.

“We took medals from five out six relays, which is a fantastic result, and equals the highest number of relay medals won by a British team in this competition,” he said.

”Lizzie (Simmonds) did a fantastic job tonight, winning two individual medals and then leading the girls in the relay in a quicker time than she won her own 100m Backstroke final.

“Moving on from this the coaches will go back to their home programmes and will work with the swimmers to enhance their performances so they are ready for the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

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