ejc 2004: silver lining for edwards

Matthew Edwards won Britain’s first silver medal of these championships as he took the runner up spot in the 200m butterfly on the third night of finals at the European junior championships in Lisbon. There was also a bronze medal for Hollie O’Connor in the 50m backstroke to take the team’s medal tally to eight.
Edwards, from the Loughborough University club, posted 2:00.12 for his podium finish, just 0.2 seconds behind champion Maciej Lewandowski of Poland. But despite the tangible reward, there’s a strong possibility that the Kings Lynn teenager may see this as the one that got away – a repeat of his sub-two minutes swims from this years’ Olympic trials would have been enough for the gold. Meanwhile O’Connor had put herself well into medal contention with her semi final performance, booking a centre lane from the semi finals after coming through the heats in 6th. In a blanket finish the Hull youngster got her hand on the wall third in 30.12 to take an unexpected bronze medal.
Britain’s only other final appearance of the night saw Chris Alderton, one of Britain’s big medal hopes, miss out in the 1500m as he came in 5th in a creditable 15:35.70. It would have required a significant improvement from the young Scot to have gotten amongst the medallists though, with the in-form German Paul Biedermann, won in 15:18.94. Britain’s other representative Daniel Ritchie posted a time of 15:55.39 for 13th place.
In the evening’s semis there were encouraging signs for further medals on the last night of competition. Yasmin Holmes qualified 3rd for the 100 breaststroke final, winning her heat in 1:11.23 while team-mate Rachel Wilson also made it through in 6th place. Other medal chances were presented by Scott Houston who posted 57.02 to qualify 2nd into the 100m backstroke final and Justine Clark whose1:01.86 in the 100 fly was good enough for 3rd.