Freya Anderson claims bronze in dramatic medley relay final in Birmingham

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Commonwealth Games - Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay - Medal Ceremony - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - July 31, 2022  Bronze Medallists England's Freya Anderson, Tamryn Van Selm, Abbie Wood and Freya Colbert celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Commonwealth Games - Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay - Medal Ceremony - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - July 31, 2022 Bronze Medallists England's Freya Anderson, Tamryn Van Selm, Abbie Wood and Freya Colbert celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

By Josh Graham

Freya Anderson fumed after being pipped to the post for silver by five-hundredths of a second in the mixed 4x100m medley relay final.

Birkenhead-born Anderson, 21, swam the final leg at Birmingham’s Sandwell Aquatics Centre and looked to be dragging England to silver before Canada touched first in a dramatic finish.

In the immediate aftermath, Anderson was still left rueing what could have been but with the dust settling recognised that her fourth relay podium of the Games was nothing to be sniffed at, especially given she had already exerted plenty when coming fifth in the women’s 100m freestyle final earlier on Tuesday evening.

“I’m a bit annoyed but a medal’s a medal and I’m glad we could do it in front of a home crowd,” said Anderson, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

“We’re a bit annoyed to be pipped by that much but the whole team did amazing.

“I knew I just had to get my head down. I raced in individual today so I was tied up a bit. I didn’t know where we’d come but to get a medal is amazing.

“I just wanted to do the crowd and my teammates proud. This team has always done so well, it’s definitely an accomplishment we should all be proud of.”

Lauren Cox claimed her first ever Commonwealth Games medal but her opening leg left the team with work to do in sixth.

James Wilby, Adam Peaty’s conqueror in Sunday night’s 100m breaststroke final, gained a place before James Guy took the home nation into the medal spots by handing over to Anderson in third.

A solid swim looked to have her edging home in second with the crowd roaring with every stroke but it wasn’t to be and teammate Wilby said Anderson should be proud of her efforts despite feeling gutted at the end result.

Wilby said: “We’ve all had individuals this evening but we’re putting in a big effort for the team.

“Freya put in an absolutely champion back 50 even though she may be a bit gutted about it. We should be really proud of that.”

Anderson said she wanted to convert silver into gold after two runners-up finishes in the mixed and women’s 4x100m freestyle relays.

But as it turned out she was only able to match the bronze medal she won as part of the women’s 4x200m freestyle.

In her individual, Anderson clocked 57 seconds dead to finish one spot behind compatriot Anna Hopkin with a rampant Australia claiming a one-two-three, underlining their dominance in the pool this week.

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