Golden Girl Freya Anderson Shines at the European Championships

Ellesmere College's Freya Anderson and a galaxy of international stars smashed the European Record to secure Gold in the European Championships 4x100m medley mixed relay in Glasgow.

Team GB's Georgia Davies, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Ellesmere College Titan, Freya Anderson, stormed to victory in a thrilling race at the magnificent Tollcross venue.

Attracting entries from 18 countries, Team GB safely navigated qualifying in a tight race against a strong Italian team along with Poland to face the might of Netherlands, Germany and Russia in the final. Seeded 4th but with only 2 seconds separating the top four teams, the final promised to be close.

Trailing after the backstroke leg, an outstanding leg from the breast stroke world record holder Peaty put Team GB into contention by handing over to James Guy in third place. Racing against the girls of Sweden and Switzerland, Guy gave Anderson a solid lead into the final leg, where she would be chased down by one of the stars of the Russian men's team, Vladimir Morozov. Could she do it?

Turning into the last length, Morozov had already closed the gap to 3.65s, but this is where the Titans' training really counts as Anderson stretched out for home. Not only did Anderson comfortably hold off the Russian challenge, but she brought the team home in a new Championship and European Record. An outstanding performance by an outstanding team!

Freya's last leg was the fastest she has ever swum over 100m, but won't count as a personal best because of the rolling start. That said she won't mind as she added a European Gold to the Bronze she earned in the 4x200m freestyle mixed relay on Saturday.

Wednesday crowned a fantastic championships for Freya with the individual 100m Free. Qualifying near her lifetime best and brimming with confidence Freya comfortably reached the finals to line up against some of the biggest names in world. A thrilling race saw Freya smash the European Junior record and also record a lifetime best to take fourth.

Giving away many years to her older competitors - all Olympians and in Sarah Sjoestroem the current World Record holder - Anderson has come of age and is no longer aspiring to be one of the best in the world because she now is one of the best and has a great future ahead of her in the sport.

Commenting on Anderson's performance, Head Coach Bircher said, "Freya is really maturing as an international athlete and will only get better in the years to come as she banks more and more experience. What also excites me, are the other talented swimmers in the programme who have just had a fantastic set of Nationals and who look set to join Freya on the international stage. We are already really looking forward to next season."

Image credit: BBC Sport

L-R: Georgia Davies, Freya Anderson, Adam Peaty and James Guy

9th August 2018  Back to News