a slow start, but hopes build for day 2

It was a mixed night in the Budapest pool for Britain as the home squad made their traditionally slow start to a major meet. There was considerable cause for optimism however in the shape of six qualifiers for tomorrow’s finals – a 100% conversion rate from the semi-finals
In the opening final of the competition, David Carry found the pace too hot in the 400m freestyle. Having set a PB in the morning heats, the pace of the final was a little too hot for the Scotsman who came home in 4:48.71 and 5th place.”My aim was to get out quick as I felt I could come back quickly,” said Carry. “but you have to race hard in the mornings just to make it through to the final and it showed tonight.” Russia’s Yuri Prilukov, the pre race favourite, set a championship record to take gold ahead of European Record holder Massimilano Rosolino.
In the other individual final, the women’s 400IM, Britain’s Rebecca Cooke and Hannah Miley took the 6th and 7th spots, just outside their own personal best times, while Alessia Filippi of Italy took Gold went to in a world class 4:35.80.
The evening rounded doff with the 4x100m freestyle relays. Having set a British record in the heats the men had high hopes but despite posting a time over a second faster than their earlier mark, the team was disqualified for a false start at the second changeover between Chris Cozens and Craig Houston. The event did give a good indication of the form of the men’s sprinters though, with Ross Davenport dipping under 50s and setting a new PB of 49.56 and Simon Burnett again splitting in the low 48 second range. He’ll need to repeat that form in the individual event to get a medal as world champion Filipo Magnini anchoring the Italians in 47.62, while Pieter van den Hoogenband also dipped under 48s before his Dutch team were also disqualified.
In the Women’s event the British ladies finished just outside the British record as they took 5th spot behind an astonishing world record from Germany. Buoyed by an incredible third leg split of 52.66 from Britte Steffan, the largely unheralded Germans shaved 0.72 seconds of the Australian’s old mark. Britain will be boosted by the form of European Junior Champion Fran Halsall, however, who anchored the quartet in 54.64.
In the evening’s semi finals, it was smiles all round as all six British swimmer progressed. The best medal hopes appear to be in the breaststroke where James Gibson recorded his fastest time since Barcelona in 2003 to go through third, just ahead of Chris Cook. Liam Tancock continued to show that his recovery is all but complete improving his time from the heats with 54.74 to progress 5th fastest. Teammate Matt Clay was 7th. For the women’s team, Mel Marshall and Lizzie Simmonds will contest the 200m backstroke final after qualifying again in 5th and 7th spots.