Friday, August 07, 2015

Brits win historic relay gold on day six in Kazan

“That was great,” said James Guy, “It was a huge team effort. The guys set it up nice and good."

Great Britain won their first ever World Championship men’s relay title to claim a fifth gold medal of the Kazan 2015 World Championships on day six in Russia.

The team of Dan Wallace, Robbie Renwick, Calum Jarvis and James Guy sliced more than a second off the British record in the 4x200m Freestyle final to finish on 7:04.33 ahead of swimming powerhouses USA (7:04.75) and Australia (7:05.34).

Victory brought an eighth medal of Championships for the British team – equaling their record medal haul from 1975 and 2003 – as they ended a run of five straight World titles for USA in the men’s 4x200m Freestyle.

Having narrowly missed out on the podium with a fourth place in last night’s 200m Individual Medley final, Wallace set the Brits on their way before Renwick brought them into third at the half-way stage.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Jarvis maintained their position on the third leg before Guy – who won the individual 200m Freestyle title in Russia – anchored them home with the fastest split of the entire race.

“That was great,” said Guy, who has also won 400m Freestyle silver in Kazan. “It was a huge team effort.

"The guys set it up nice and good and I knew if I was top three I had a chance of bringing it back but I never thought we’d get the gold.

“It’s the best British team we’ve ever had and this relay is definitely something we’re going to look out for next year.

“It was all about staying calm and not getting too tense in the first 100m. You’ve just got to enjoy it.”

Commonwealth bronze medallist Andrew Willis was less than half a second shy of securing a ninth medal for GB as he finished fourth in the 200m Breaststroke for the second consecutive World Championships.

The 24-year-old came home to touch just 0.42 seconds behind Hungary’s Olympic and defending world champion Daniel Gyurta as Germany’s Marco Koch took the title ahead of USA’s Kevin Cordes .

But having improved his time throughout the rounds and finished with his fastest effort since the London 2012 Olympics, Willis was adamant he would take positives from his performance in Russia.

“Obviously it’s disappointing but I felt I held my nerve a lot better and that’s one of the better finals I’ve done,” said Willis. “It’s a step in the right direction and I’m not going to be too disappointed with that.

“I feel like I’ve done pretty well this year and that’s the same position I finished at the last Worlds.

“I can’t feel too down about finishing fourth in an unbelievable final like that. I progressed through the rounds as well which isn’t usually my strong point so that’s a big positive for me.”

There were some encouraging semi-final performances as Commonwealth champions Francesca Halsall and Ben Proud booked final berths in their respective events.

Halsall – who has already lifted her first World title this week in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay – touched second in her heat and third fastest overall in the 50m Butterfly.

Meanwhile, Proud underlined his improvement over the past two years as he qualified fifth fastest for the 50m Freestyle final, having finished 18th on his World Championship debut two years ago.

After touching third in his semi-final, the 20-year-old insisted the medallists could come from any lane in tomorrow’s final.

“I’m glad I made it through safely,” said Proud. “Going in fifth in such a tight race tomorrow, I know anything can happen.

“I need to take in a fresh mind, open to how anything goes and hopefully I’ll get the race right.”

Lizzie Simmonds was the only other Brit in action on day six in Kazan, touching seventh in her 200m Backstroke semi final and 13th overall.

Article courtesy of British Swimming

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