Dean and Vasey lead the way on day two

18 May 2021

Tom Dean and Sarah Vasey led the British charge on the second morning of action in Budapest, as 11 Brits advanced to the next round.

The Men’s 100m Freestyle heats proved to be an interesting affair, with Tom Dean, Matt Richards and Jacob Whittle all drawn in heat nine of 10. With LEN’s two per nation rule in force it would mean one of the trio would miss out. Unfortunately that would be 16-year-old Jacob Whittle, who had a great swim to touch just 0.02 outside of his lifetime best, the youngster showing he knows how to perform in a big arena.

It was, however, Dean who led the Brits home, out well through the first 50 and looking controlled to touch second, with Richards less than a tenth back – both men go again in the semi-finals this evening.

In fact it was a similar story in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, as Molly Renshaw and Sarah Vasey both went in heat five of six to secure their semi-final spots.

Vasey led the way, a quality heat swim showing she really is in the form of her life in 2021, finishing third to advance sixth overall.

Of that effort, Vasey said:

“That was a lot faster than I thought it would be, and it’s only just off my best time, which I did four weeks ago, so I’m really happy with that. In 2018 I missed out on the semi-final in the 100, so it would be really nice to get in there now, push on, and make the final.”

Renshaw, a 200m specialist, was one place and less than one tenth behind, so it was very much a case of job done for the pair in their opening swims of the week.

After the success of the sprint relay squads on Monday evening, the Mixed 4x200m Freestyle Relay team picked up where their teammates left off, making sure of their spot in the final, which closes out proceedings on Tuesday night.

Jol Finck-coached Calum Jarvis got the team off to a strong start, before Joe Litchfield, who played a key role in the 4x100 heats yesterday, kept the GB team in the lead at the halfway mark. From there it was over to our newest European champions, Lucy Hope and Abbie Wood getting the job done as the team touched first, way clear of the rest, to advance with ease.

Of both his and the team’s performance, Jarvis noted:

“It’s nice to open up with a relay and I had great fun out there in the mixed event – I never really get the opportunity to do it, so to do it at a European Championships is great. We swam really well – we knew we had to get top two, but to come out and win it by quite a way is great.”

Ed Mildred was the lone entrant into the Men’s 200m Butterfly, the young Northampton swimmer here in Budapest to gain valuable experience as he looks to transition from the junior to senior ranks; he would ultimately finish sixth in his heat, from lane one, and reflected afterwards:

“It feels good being out here on my senior debut – I’m a little annoyed with the time, as I wanted to be a bit closer to my PB, but it’s a real privilege to be in this position, thanks to the hard work from my coaches, my parents and everyone who’s supported me.”

It may not be an Olympic event, but Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild used the Women’s 50m Backstroke to finetune their speed at the start of a busy week, and they wasted no time in showing the rest of Europe what they’re made of.

The Stirling-based, Bradley Hay-coached pair both lowered their personal bests, Dawson by some margin, to qualify for the semi-finals, with Dawson quickest overall. Afterwards she said:

“I’d be lying if I said I knew where that came from, but I’m super pleased with myself, it was a great heat swim. I’ve been working hard and applying myself every session and it’s paying off. That bodes well for the Olympics, being able to swim fast in the morning, and really I’m just using this as prep for the 100.”

In fact, Dawson’s time saw her just short of both the British and Championship records, held by Georgia Davies.

Rounding out the morning session was distance man Dan Jervis, the Swansea swimmer going in a stacked final heat of the Men’s 1500m Freestyle. Jervis wasn’t fazed however, setting his stall out from the get-go, occupying a top three spot throughout, to eventually touch second, qualifying fifth quickest overall. He’ll go in pursuit of a maiden European medal on Wednesday evening.

Full results can be found HERE.

The action resumes at 5pm UK time, live on the BBC Sport digital platforms.