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16 August 2010 | PR 10/126

European Championship glory for Loughborough swimmers

Francesca Halsall

Loughborough golden girl Francesca Halsall, now the most successful GB swimmer ever at the European Champion- ships

LOUGHBOROUGH University swimmers helped grab the headlines at the 30th European Swimming Championships in Hungary last week.

The Loughborough pool’s motto of ‘Fast Swimming’ couldn’t have been more fitting at Margaret Island in Budapest, where almost every time a Loughborough swimmer made a final, they won a medal!

A third of the GB team competing was selected from the Loughborough swimming programme, and after playing down hopes of medal success prior to the event with the team unrested and targeting the Commonwealth Games in October, this turned out to be Great Britain’s best ever European Championships, with Loughborough swimmers picking up 17 of the 27 medals won over the seven days of competition.

Added to that, Loughborough’s Francesca Halsall became most successful female swimmer ever to compete at a European championship returning with a five-medal haul which included two golds (women’s 100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay), two silvers (women’s 100m butterfly and 4x100m medley relay) and a bronze (women’s 50m freestyle).

Lizzie Simmonds also struck gold in the women’s 200m backstroke, as did three of the four women’s 4x100m medley team of Halsall, Kate Haywood and Amy Smith (plus Simmonds in the heats), on the final day of the event.

Amy Smith also picked up silver as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay along with Halsall and Joanne Jackson, and there were individual silvers for Lizzie Simmonds in the women’s 100m backstroke, Kate Haywood in the women’s 50m breaststroke, and World Record holder Liam Tancock in the men’s 50m backstroke.

Tancock also won bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke, along with Halsall in the women’s 50m freestyle, Joe Roebuck in the men’s 200m individual medley, and Joanne Jackson as part of the women’s 4x200m women’s freestyle relay team.

All the medals won by the men’s team came from Loughborough swimmers.

Although most of the GB competitors’ training this year is aimed at success at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, University swimming coach Steve Bayley put Loughborough’s European glory down to a simple ethos that has gained momentum over the years at the state-of-the-art 50m pool on Epinal Way: “When our athletes get in the pool now they expect to win.”

Loughborough’s Deputy Director of Performance Sport, Andy Borrie, said: "The last few weeks have seen some outstanding Loughborough successes. Starting with the European athletics results in Barcelona and now being topped off with brilliant results in the pool.

“The results show that our partnerships with British Swimming and UK Athletics are really starting to bear fruit. The medal count is testament to the world class training environment and culture that has been developed here.

“Overall this is great news for Loughborough with the Commonwealth Games in October and the 2012 Games rapidly approaching."

The swimmers return to Loughborough this week, and a number will be making the trip to the Commonwealth Games trials in Sunderland where the Delhi team line-up will be finalised.

Loughborough’s LEN European Championship medal roll of honour:

Gold
Fran Halsall — women’s 100m freestyle
Lizzie Simmonds — women’s 200m backstroke
Fran Halsall, Amy Smith, Kate Haywood (Simmonds, heat) — women’s 4x100m medley relay
Silver
Fran Halsall — women’s 100m butterfly
Fran Halsall, Amy Smith, Joanne Jackson — women’s 4x100m freestyle relay;
Liam Tancock — men’s 50m backstroke
Lizzie Simmonds — women’s 100m backstroke
Kate Haywood — women’s 50m breaststroke
Bronze
Fran Halsall — women’s 50m freestyle
Liam Tancock — men’s 100m backstroke
Joe Roebuck — men’s 200m individual medley
Joanne Jackson — women’s 4x200m freestyle team

Loughborough-based competitors at the Championships: Francesca Halsall, Kate Haywood, Joanne Jackson, Elizabeth Simmonds, Amy Smith, Robert Bale, Ross Davenport, Roberto Pavoni, Joe Roebuck, Liam Tancock, Grant Turner, Daniel Fogg, Larent Carnol, Melanie Nocher.

For the latest Loughborough swimming news, go to: www.loughboroughswimming.com

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Paul Manning
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: D.Coyle@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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