Teenager O'Connor seals first senior medal
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor landed her first senior international medal with 100m Individual Medley bronze at the European Short Course Championships in Chartres, France.
Just five days away from her 17th birthday, the British Gas ITC Bath swimmer lowered her PB for the third time in three races, clocking 59.72 for her medal behind Hungarian duo Katinka Hosszu (58.83) and Zsuzsanna Jakabos (59.15).
And while she also finished fourth in the 200m Individual Medley earlier in the competition, O’Connor admitted she was surprised to have made such a breakthrough at the meet.
“I’m really happy because I didn’t expect to come here and medal,” said O’Connor, who won the British Gas GBR Swimming Team’s fourth medal of the competition.
“I’ve been putting really hard work in training so to come away with a medal and my first senior medal, I’m over the moon.
“Obviously I was going in ranked third so I knew I had a chance but anything can happen in a race.
“I was a bit nervous because that was only my second senior final but I just pushed hard and managed to go a bit faster than the semis.”
Competing in her first senior championship final, British teammate Sophie Smith (British Gas ITC, Loughborough) finished fifth behind O’Connor in 1:00.54.
Minutes after her 100m IM final, Smith returned for the 100m Butterfly semi finals, finishing 15th overall in 1:00.02.
Having secured silver and bronze respectively in the 800m Freestyle on day two, Hannah Miley (Garioch) and Aimee Willmott (Middlesborough) were both in action again in the final of the 400m Free.
Miley was the quicker of the two on the night, touching fourth in a new Scottish record of 4:00.39 while Willmott beat her PB from the heats with a time of 4:01.89 in fifth.
Backstrokers Lauren Quigley (City of Manchester) and Marco Loughran (Guildford City) were the other Brits competing in the evening session on day three.
Quigley reached her second final of her major championship debut in the 50m Backstroke, setting a personal best 27.08 to finish sixth while Loughran came ninth in the 100m Backstroke in 52.10.