Gold, Silver and two records for Brits on Day Four
The British Gas GBR Swimming team claimed two medals (a gold and silver), a Championship Record and a British Record on day four of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai.
After breaking the Championship Record in this morning’s heats, the British 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay quartet of Matthew Johnson (City of Sheffield), Max Litchfield (Doncaster Dartes), Caleb Hughes(Hatfield) and James Guy (Millfield), improved their time by over four seconds in tonight’s final event to claim victory in 7.15.36.
After a solid start from Johnson, Litchfield took over to keep the Brits in the race before Caleb Hughes got the Brits back in front with Guy on the anchor leg, who stormed the final 100m to guarantee the gold.
“We’re all really pleased with that, we knew we needed to go faster than this morning,” said Guy. “To drop four seconds and get a new Championship Record is a fantastic result.”
Johnson said: “I just tried to stay up there with the field and set the boys up for the rest of the race.
“Everything changes in a relay, you’re doing it for your team and country not just yourself.”
Litchfield added: “The boys did amazingly, Jonno (Matt Johnson) went out well and Caleb and James brought it back for us – it was a fantastic team effort.”
“I’m astounded,” said Hughes. “We all knew we had a second or two in there to give. We knew the other teams would be putting in other swimmers and that it would be a tight race.
“We had a good lead off from Jonno, he put us in good standing. Max is always the speed king bringing it back and we knew we had Jimmy (Guy) on the last leg to give it the big one and he did it well.
“I want to thank these boys, we did our best and got gold.”
Australia took the silver in 7.15.82 with the USA in third in 7.17.67
Sophie Taylor added a silver medal and British Record to her tally for the week after an impressive swim in the 100m Breaststroke final.
The City of Leeds swimmer, who took bronze in the 50m Breaststroke on Tuesday, started strongly in the first 50m and worked hard to stay with race winner, World Record holder Ruta Meilutyte.
Taylor held off an attack from Ukrainian Viktoriya Solnceva in the final 15 metres to take the touch, and the silver, in 1.07.36.
“I’m really happy that, I was so nervous going into it,” she said. “I wanted a medal and I thought I would have to settle for bronze but I got silver – that’s even better.
“At the end of the race I could see Solnceva coming back at me but I thought I’ve been ahead for this long and I wanted to stay there and I pulled it off.
“I could see Ruta in front of me and I thought, she’s World Record holder and if I’m this close to her I must be going fast and it really helped me to keep going.”
The race was won by Meilutyte in a new Championship Record of 1.06.61 with Solnceva in third in 1.07.53.
Georgina Evans (City of Liverpool) was seventh in a time of 1.09.09 – an improvement on the time she swam in the semi finals.
City of Manchester’s Jessica Fullalove qualified for tomorrow night’s final of the 50m Backstroke after winning her semi final in 28.84. She goes in ranked fifth.
Charlotte McKenzie (FIRST) touched in 29.65 to finish in 13th place overall in the same event.
Guildford’s Emma Day was 16th overall in the 200m Individual Medley, touching in 2.19.13 and finally, Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) finished in 31st place in the 50m Butterfly in 25.44.
Graeme Antwhistle, Head Coach for the meet said: “We have spoken about maintaining momentum through the meet after a good start on Monday.
“The swimmers have remained professional and as a team have really responded to the challenge.
“The results tonight have been outstanding and have demonstrated the drive within this team to perform to the potential that we know they have.
“The swimmers believed they could achieve tonight when they walked out into the finals, and that is a great quality to have.”
Mark Perry, Team Leader said: “That was a fantastic night for the team where Sophie really showed her class breaking the British Record and the boys 4 x 200m Freestyle showed what true never say die attitude is all about.”