Britain brought a successful World Championship campaign to an end in stunning fashion with a seventh medal on the final day in Budapest when the Men’s Medley Relay team brought a packed Duna Arena to its feet.
The British quartet of Chris Walker-Hebborn (National Centre Bath), Adam Peaty (National Centre Loughborough), James Guy (National Centre Bath) and Duncan Scott (University of Stirling) went into the final as the second fastest nation following strong heats outing that included University of Stirling swimmer Ross Murdoch on the breaststroke leg.
GBR stopped the clock in a British Record time of 3:28.95 to claim an emphatic silver to round off the week in Budapest and earn second spot behind the USA on the overall medal table.
Gold went to the USA in time of 3:27.91 and the bronze medal to Russia in a time of 3:29.76.
Relay opener, Walker-Hebborn said afterwards: “I put everything into that and it hurt like something else but having these boys on the backend is incredible and I’m lucky to be a part of this team. I’m just glad I got to the end of the week and got to swim with them.”
“It was always going to be difficult getting back in but I just had to get out there and do it for the guys and for my team, hopefully in three years’ time we’re going to be even stronger. It’s going to take a couple of weeks for everything to sink in but then we’ll look back at it all and work out what needs to be done next.”, added Peaty.
Max Litchfield (City of Sheffield) set a new British and Commonwealth Record when he just missed out on the podium in an agonising finish to one of the fastest Men’s 400m Individual Medleys of all time.
Gold went to Chase Kalisz of the US in a new Championship Record 4:05.90, silver to Hungary’s David Verraszto in 4:08.38 and Daiya Seto of Japan pinched bronze on the touch in 4:09.14 from Litchfield in 4:09.62.
“You can’t control what other people do but I’m really happy with the time,” said Litchfield who took a second off his former British Record. “I just couldn’t quite pull it off over that last 50m though. That last 25m felt horrible; it’s probably the hardest 25m of my life.
“I’ve been pleased with the performances I’ve put in this week. If you look at my curve over the past three years I’ve made some massive drops on my times so I’m just going to keep doing that as we work towards Tokyo.”
In the Women’s 4x100 Medley Relay a young British team of Kathleen Dawson (University of Stirling), Sarah Vasey (National Centre Loughborough), Charlotte Atkinson (Loughborough University) and Freya Anderson (Ellesmere College Titans) came together for the very first time.
The quartet finished in seventh place but showed real promise for the future of the event.
“To be in a team full of newbies is fresh and it fun, and to be part of a world record breaking final has been amazing,” said Dawson
Britain saw two other finalists in action on the last day of the 2017 World Championships. Vasey went in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke and finished her second individual final of her first World Championships in sixth place and Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen) was eighth in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley.
Commenting on her performance, Miley said: “That’s not what I came here for and I am pretty gutted with that. I was expecting a lot more from myself.
“It will give me the kick up the backside I need to step back in for the next cycle and make sure at commies I go faster, a lot faster than that.”
Commenting on the British performance at the World Championships, British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss said: “I’m pleased, it’s year one and I didn’t know what to expect coming it, it was a bit lumpy. You know Jazz Carlin wasn’t here, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor wasn’t firing on all cylinders as she hasn’t had the best preparation.“But I’m really pleased, that’s seven medals and second on the medal table and I don’t think we’ve ever done that before. Does it mean we’re the second best team in the world, I don’t think it does, what it probably means is that we’ve got a really good launch pad for the next three years.”