Freya Anderson makes stunning comeback to claim 100m freestyle gold at European Short Course Championship

Freya Anderson stormed the final 50m to win the gold (PA Images)
9:26am, Sat 07 Dec 2019
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Britain's Freya Anderson has claimed her first senior international title by staging a phenomenal comeback to win the 100m freestyle at the European Short Course Championship in Glasgow.

The 18-year-old was second to last at the half-way mark but powered through the final 50m, clocking the fastest final 50m of any swimmer in the field, to finish in a personal best time of 51.49.

France's Beryl Gastaldello came in 0.39 seconds behind her to clinch silver with the Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk getting bronze.

"I was nervous before the final as being the fastest in the heats and semis was quite daunting, especially being in lane four surrounded by all those big names," said Anderson.

"I could hear the crowd down the last 25 and I just thought 'come on, get your head down'."

Anderson (centre) alongside France's silver medallist, Beryl Gastaldello (left) and The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk (PA Images)

Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for fellow Brit Laura Stephens who finished an agonising 0.05 seconds off a podium place in the 200m Butterfly, with Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos pipping her at the finish.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was another Brit who just missed out on a medal in the 100m Individual Medley. She was only 0.06 seconds adrift of Finland's Jenna Laukkanen while gold was claimed by the seemingly unstoppable Katinka Hosszu, with Russia’s Maria Kameneva taking the silver.

Despite setting another national record Great Britain's had to settle for fifth spot in the Women's 4x50m Freestyle Relay final.

The British team of Anderson, O’Connor, Anna Hopkin and Georgia Davies broke the 19-year-old British record in the semi-final as they qualified second fastest in a time of 1:36.20.

They then knocked off a further 0.02 seconds in the final, but could not push on to claim a podium spot.

Hopkin said: “It was a lot of fun to swim in front of this crowd with these girls.

“It’s obviously not an event we’d usually do, so there was no pressure, it was just about having fun and seeing what we could do.”