Shanahan stars at European Youth Olympic Festival

30 Jul 2019

Katie Shanahan and Ed Mildred ensured Britain’s swimmers ended the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) on a high, after a gold medal each on the final day of action.

With 16 swimmers travelling to Baku, Azerbaijan, to represent Team GB at the championships, the team returned with no fewer than 18 medals; six golds, eleven silvers and one bronze.

Shanahan was the standout performer, ending Baku 2019 with six medals, three gold and three silver, Team GB’s most decorated athlete of the Games in any sport. The Glasgow swimmer kick-started Team GB’s medal haul with Women’s 400m Individual Medley gold on the second day of competition, the 15-year-old dominating from start to finish. Touching in a time of 4:43.92, Shanahan was over six and a half seconds clear of the field as she set a new European Youth Olympic Festival record.

A night later Shanahan doubled her gold medal tally thanks to another outstanding swim in the Women’s 200m Backstroke, again setting a championship record. Her third gold came on the final night in the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay where she combined with Sophie Freeman, Jemimah Berkeley and Tamryn van Selm.

Of her efforts, Shanahan said:

“I’ve really surprised myself this week with how I’ve performed. I’m over to the moon to have won that many medals and in my performances, especially after coming fresh out of the European Juniors two weeks ago - it’s been such a good experience.

“Next year is obviously a big one because it’s the Olympics. If I can get close to making those times would be really good. Tokyo is an outside goal of mine, I’m not too far off the best girls in Britain.”

Ed Mildred ends the Games with two golds and two silvers, his 200m Freestyle win on the final night his first individual title.

The Northampton swimmer said:

“It feels great to win gold and means it’s been a good end to the week - it’s been really enjoyable. I’ve learnt a lot as part of the experience, mainly about racing internationally and being in contention in races, as this is my first time doing that. When you’re in lane four everyone is looking at you and expecting you to win. You have to learn to deal with that pressure and I’ve enjoyed that.”    

After that gold medal swim Mildred teamed up with Jacob Whittle, Cameron Williams and Mark Ford to win silver in the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay. The final night also saw silver medals for Cameron Williams in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke and Freya Colbert in the Women’s 800m Freestyle.                 

The aforementioned Jacob Whittle also enjoyed a fine week, a stunning anchor leg moving the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet from sixth to the top spot on the podium, finishing off the good work done by Ed Mildred, Nick Skelton and Mark Ford. The 14 year old Derbyshire swimmer also won silver in the individual event, whilst earlier in the night Mildred had collected silver in the 200m Butterfly final, recording a new British age group record of 1.58.64 in the process.

Further success came in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay as Evelyn Davis, Tamryn van Selm, Ed Mildred and Jacob Whittle set an EYOF record to edge out Russia, whilst Van Selm secured silver in the 100m Freestyle and Freya Colbert a medal of the same colour in the 400m Freestyle. On the very same night there was also bronze for Sophie Freeman in the Women’s 200m Butterfly.

Full results can be found here: http://www.eyof.org/medals-and-results/