Great Britain signed off from the European Aquatics Championships in style by winning both the women’s and men’s medley relays on Sunday’s final night of action.
The men’s team - Adam Peaty, James Guy, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Duncan Scott - won the final race of this year’s competition to take Britain’s total medal tally to 22, the highest number of any nation, despite being in heavy training ahead of the Olympic Games.
The penultimate swim saw the women’s quartet of Fran Halsall, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chloe Tutton and Kathleen Dawson win gold in the 4x100m medley relay, finishing in a time of 3:58.57 minutes, more than two seconds ahead of Italy in second.
The victory at the London Aquatics Centre saw Tutton and Dawson bag their maiden international medals after the teenagers handed the Brits a narrow lead at the half-way stage.
And for O’Connor, who also claimed 200m individual medley silver and mixed 4x100m medley relay gold this week, the title was the perfect way to end the Championships and give something back to the vocal British supporters.
“It feels absolutely amazing to win gold on the final night of the European Championships in London,” she said.
“The crowd have been amazing all week and having that home support has really made a difference to our performances.
“We’re all on such a high now. There’s lots of confidence within the team.”
The men’s team were also the early pace setters as 50m and 100m breaststroke champion Peaty gave them an easy two-second advantage at the halfway stage after Walker-Hebborn had opened the action.
Guy and Scott took the lead in their stride to romp home to victory in 3:32.15 to defend their title from two year ago, ahead of France and Hungary in second and third respectively.
And with less than three months to go until the racing gets underway in Rio, Peaty insists the team’s performance in the capital this week is a sign of great things to come.
“It’s a great arena to demonstrate our form and class and the rest of the world should be ready,” said Peaty.
“The chemistry is building within this team and that’s only going to grow in the build up to Rio, which will benefit us and help us perform stronger.”
Walker-Hebborn added: “To swim like that with these guys was incredible.
“We’re not shaven down or tapered coming into this meet so that just demonstrates to the rest of Europe and the world the position Great Britain are in.”
Britain also another silver medal added to the collection earlier in the night when Jazz Carlin won a hard fought battle to secure second in the 400m freestyle after Halsall had won her third individual medal of the week with silver in the 50m freestyle.
And Ben Proud posted a time of 21.85 seconds in the men’s 50m freestyle to earn a bronze medal, touching the wall just 0.12 seconds after French winner Florent Manaudou.
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