Willmott leads three British finalists as Europeans begin

18 August 2014 / 14:50

Double Commonwealth silver medallist Aimee Willmott was one of three to secure a place in the first finals of the European Championships as Britain’s swimmers enjoyed a fine start of things in Berlin.

Willmott advanced out of the heats of the 400m medley on the first morning as the fourth fastest overall in 4:39.01 minutes – the event in which she won her first silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

And she’ll be joined in bidding to reach the podium by Stephen Milne and Jay Lelliott who both qualified for the men’s 400m freestyle final, although Max Litchfield missed out in Berlin.

Milne was impressive in winning his heat in 3:48.62 for the best time overall while Lelliott sneaked through in seventh overall after posting 3:49.82 but the British success wasn’t confined to that.

Double Commonwealth champion Chris Walker-Hebborn was comfortably the fastest into the 100m backstroke semi-finals while Adam Peaty followed suit as three Brits advanced in the 100m breaststroke.

Peaty won double gold and silver at Glasgow 2014 and beat Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Daniel Gyurta in qualifying fastest with Ross Murdoch third overall and Andrew Willis fifth.

Fran Halsall, who took her career tally of Commonwealth medals to 11 in Scotland and has a haul of seven at the Europeans, advanced to the 50m butterfly semi-finals but British teammate Jemma Lowe couldn’t.

And completing a fine first morning for Britain in Berlin both Ben Proud and Adam Barrett were successful in the men’s 50m butterfly heats as was Lizzie Simmonds in the women’s 200m backstroke.

© Sportsbeat 2014