Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sensational silver in medley relay for GBR

The British Swimming team ended their World Championships campaign with a superbly executed silver medal in the 4x100m medley relay on the last day in Budapest.

Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott were the quartet to take on the team from US in an event, that according to the commentators, the US had never lost. Walker-Hebborn, who has been ill all week, swam a solid backstroke leg. When Adam Peaty hit the water in the breaststroke leg GBR were in seventh place, by the time Peaty handed over to James Guy, they were leading!

Guy continued his superb week with another excellent butterfly leg and handing over to Duncan Scott, GBR were sitting in the silver medal position.  Scott held off a strong challenge by the Russian Federation and GBR came home in 3:28.95 for silver. The US team won gold in 3:27.91 with the Russians settling for bronze in 3:29.76.

During the post-race interview, Scott said,

“I’m delighted with how my week has gone. My individual races have been good and the relays have been incredible. That relay was incredible and to finish on a high like that, there is no better way to end the week than on the podium with these boys.”

Scott’s University of Stirling team-mate, Ross Murdoch, will also pick up a silver medal as he swam in the heats.

Earlier in the evening 5-time World Championship finalist, Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen Performance), was in action in the 400m IM. Qualifying eighth fastest the going was always going to be tough, but Miley is never one to do anything but race hard.

Home favourite Katinka Hosszu was off like a shot from the start, perhaps trying for a World Record in front of her adoring crowd. She was well ahead at the half way mark but you could see she was tiring following a busy schedule. Hosszu did win gold, in 4:29.33 (a new Championship record) with Spain’s Mireia Belmonte winning silver in 4:32.17. Sydney Pickrem of Canada won bronze in 4:32.88 and Miley finished in 8th in 4:38.34.

After the race an open and honest Miley said,

“It was amazing to be part of that race. The atmosphere feels like it’s another home Games, like Glasgow or London, its electric.

“Physically I feel really good, but psychologically, I need to get things sorted. I’m not making any excuses and that swim for me was pretty pants! I need to get my head right. I’m still fine tuning things from Rio and I still believe I’m learning.  I will look back at things and pick myself up.”

When asked about her long term plans, Miley continued,

“My eyes are on Tokyo, but I will take it year on year. There are the Commonwealth Games to come next year and I’m not setting anything in stone just yet.”

Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University/Florida Gators) also went in the 400m IM and was desperately unlucky not to progress to the final, finishing 9th overall in 4:15.71, right on his personal best. After his heat he said,

“It’s a little slower than I was expecting to make the final. I’m actually quite pleased with that time although it’s unfortunate to miss out on the final by such a little amount. That’s just the way it is sometimes.

“I swam around my best times, which is good. It’s one thing doing it at Sheffield but at this level I’m pleased to be on my best time when racing the rest of the world. It wasn’t quite enough and I am disappointed not to make a final. All in all, it could have been better but it wasn’t a bad week.”

Speaking about his immediate plans, Szaranek continued,

“I will go and enjoy about three weeks off, spend time with friends. After that I return to Florida, back to school and back to training.”

Kathleen Dawson (University of Stirling) was also in action tonight, as the lead off person for the Women’s 4x100m medley relay final. The quartet of Dawson, Sarah Vasey, Charlotte Atkinson and Freya Anderson finished 7th overall in 3:59.51.

GBR were 2nd on the medal table with 7 medals: 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

Full set of results from Budapest2017 can be found here