2021 LEN EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Swimming: Monday, May 17th – Sunday, May 23rd
- Budapest, Hungary
- Prelims at 10:00 am local/Finals at 6:00 pm local
- Event Site
- Entry List
- Live Stream
The women’s 400m freestyle relay brought the virtual house down on day 1 of these European Championships, with the back-and-forth battle among the top 2 teams being brought all the way to the wall at the end.
That edged out the stacked Dutch quartet of Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Kira Toussaint, Marrit Steenbergen and Femke Heemskerk, who snagged silver only .12 behind in 3:34.29. That was despite a valiant effort from Heemskerk to catch Anderson on the final leg, with the Dutch ace clocking 51.99 for the fastest split of the field.
GBR lead-off swimmer Hope also nailed a new Scottish national record with her 53.89 front speed. That demolished her previous PB and national record of 54.19 from just this past April to help be the gamechanger for Great Britain. Wood’s 53.90 is also a head-turner for someone also capable of crushing a 400m IM time of 4:37.25.
France rounded out the top 3 tonight in a time of 3:35.92, with Charlotte Bonnet reaping the fastest split on the squad in 53.36 as the 2nd leg.
Going back to GBR, the foursome here overtook the previous British national record of 3:35.72 from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. That squad was comprised of the following women compared to this new record of 3:34.17.
Old Record – 3:35.72:
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (54.06)
Fran Halsall (53.17)
Amy Smith (53.88)
Rebecca Turner (54.61)
The last time the British women won this 400m free relay event was way back in 1927, which was just the 2nd European Championships ever held and 1st edition where women could race. Coming into this meet, the Dutch women have the best result in this race, owning 8 gold medals and 25 total pieces of hardware over 33 editions.
Also of importance for the British women is that they desperately needed a big-time swim here to establish their case for getting a ticket to this summer’s Olympic Games. The British Olympic Selection Policy dictates that a collective time of 3:35.64 needed to have been achieved to book a Toyo ticket, so the women managed to get it done in spades tonight.