An 18-strong squad of British swimmers demonstrated early season potential as they secured a total of 14 medals across the two day Flanders meet in Belgium this weekend (19-20 January).
Swimming Pool Wezenberg in Antwerp played hosted to Olympic, world and European champions at what, for many, is the opening meet of the long course season.
European champion Freya Anderson topped the pile of British performances, as she served up two podium topping swims. On day one it was gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle, whilst on day two a lifetime best swim of 1:59.17 saw her take the spoils in the Women’s 200m Freestyle.
National Centre Bath’s Tom Dean was Great Britain’s other race winner of the weekend, as he took the touch and stopped the clock at 2:01.53 in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley.
Dean backed his win up with a silver medal performance in the Men’s 200m Freestyle. A flurry of other second place finishes for Bath-based athletes followed, Jessica Fullalove in the Women’s 100m and 200m Backstroke and Tom Derbyshire claimed silver in the penultimate individual event of the meet, the Men’s 1500m Freestyle.
Georgia Coates also of National Centre Bath bagged a pair of bronzes, the first in the Women’s 200m Freestyle where she finished just outside her personal best, before backing it up with another third place finish in 200m Breaststroke.
After stepping up to the senior stage last summer, Newcastle-based Nick Pyle touched for bronze in the Men’s 100m Backstroke, whilst sprint specialist Tom Fannon finished third in the Men’s 50m Freestyle and Elliot Clogg also claimed bronze in the Men’s 200m Backstroke. A final bronze came for the British squad in the Men’s 400m Freestyle courtesy of Tom Derbyshire.
A GB relay medal rounded off the weekend as the men took home a silver in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. A quartet of Tom Dean, Elliot Clogg, Cameron Brooks-Clare and Olympic medallist Stephen Milne joined hosts Belgium and Ireland on the podium, who took gold and bronze respectively.
Reflecting on the weekend of racing, British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice said:
“The two days of racing at the Flanders Meet demonstrate the talent pool that we are developing and nurturing in Great Britain. The ability to deliver such strong performances at this early stage of the season and against world-class talent from a range of big swimming nations bodes well.”Click here to access full results from the Flanders Cup Meet 2019.