Three medals on the final night brings European Juniors to a close

7 Jul 2019

The British Swimming team won three further medals on the final night of action at the 2019 European Junior Swimming Championships to take their tally to 10 for the week.

Having won bronze earlier in the week, Kayla Van Der Merwe struck gold thanks to a magnificent swim in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke final, smashing her lifetime best in the process. Attacking the race off the blocks, Van Der Merwe looked in control all the way to get her own back on a strong Russian duo, who she pushed all the way in the 200m earlier in the week.

Of her swim, Van Der Merwe said:

“It was really exciting, before and during the race. I didn’t expect this gold as my focus is not on this meet bur rather on the World Championships, so this win is simply awesome.”

Another team member to add to their medal tally was Matt Richards, who completed the full set of medals with silver in the Men’s 200m Freestyle, having won gold in the 100m and bronze in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. Producing a massive 1.47.23 lifetime best, Richards was in the hunt for a medal the whole way, finishing strongly down the finally 50m to overhaul Antonio Djakovic of Switzerland, but he couldn’t quite oust Robin Hanson of Sweden who took the top spot.

The final medal of the night came in the penultimate event, the Women’s 4x200m Relay, with the Great Britain team winning a sterling silver medal. The team, consisting of Freya Colbert, Tamryn Van Selm, Emma Russell and Mia Selvin held off Germany in the battle for the minor medals, with hosts Russia grabbing gold. Special mention should go to Lauren Wetherell and Honey Osrin who were also awarded silver medals thanks to their contributions in the prelims.

In the final event of the championships, the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay, it was a case of so near but yet so far for the GB team who finished just two tenths of a second shy of medal in fourth place. A quality foursome of Charlie Hutchison, Archie Goodburn, Matt Richards and Jacob Whittle combined well, 14 year old Whittle finishing strongly to nearly drag the team onto the rostrum.

Sophie Yendell was also a whisker away from a medal in the Women’s 50m Butterfly as she touched fifth, just 0.13 shy of bronze, whilst 400m IM silver medallist Katie Shanahan stepped down to the 200m IM to finish fourth, again just a couple of tenths short of doubling her medal tally. Another medallist, Honey Osrin, contested the 100m backstroke to finish a very creditable fifth from lane one, just two tenths short of bronze. Meanwhile in the Men’s 400m IM Charlie Hutchison was also fourth prior to his achieving the same feat in the relay.

The previous evening there were a number of further close calls for the GB team, namely the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team who finished fourth in a closely fought final.

At the conclusion of the championships the team finished a fabulous fourth on the medal table, second overall on the points table and no fewer than 17 team members returned home with a medal.

Full results from all the action can be found here