Buxton swimmer wins Olympic gold

Buxton's Abbie Wood - selected to swim for GB at the European Youth Olympics.
Buxton's Abbie Wood - selected to swim for GB at the European Youth Olympics.

A Buxton swimmer made history on Tuesday, by winning the 1,000th gold medal at the European Youth Olympics in Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

Abbie Wood, 14, secured her first gold, and Team GB’s first gold of the event, in the 400-metre medley in the Swimming Pool De Krommerijn.

Buxton's Abbie Wood, 14, competing in the European Youth Olympics Festival 2013, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Buxton's Abbie Wood, 14, competing in the European Youth Olympics Festival 2013, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The swimmer qualified fastest for the final, before taking gold in a personal best 4:51.53, nearly five seconds clear of Russia’s silver medallist Diana Sheludchenko (4:56.23).

Abbie, who swims for Derventio Excel, said: “That is very lucky! It could have been any number. I worked really hard to have this medal, and got a personal best by four seconds. I knew my rivals would step up in the final which really spurred me on.”

After her victory she said the cheers from the tribune helped her a lot.

But, the British swimmer can’t celebrate too much yet; she still has one event today (Thursday), the 100-metre breaststroke.

The junior athlete qualified for six events at the festival, including her favourite the 200-metre breaststroke and the mixed 100-metre relay which took place yesterday (Wednesday) and the girls 100-metre relay, which was on Tuesday.

She helped the 16-strong British squad make a great start on day one of the three-day games, who won five of the six medals available in the first swimming finals session.

Abbie, who began swimming at age four, became a national champion for the first time in 2010, became British Age Group record holder in February.

She gained selection by achieving the required criteria at the British Gas Open in Sheffield last month in both the 200-metre breaststroke, in which she finished sixth in the senior category, and in the 400-metre individual medley.

Her coach Kim Hill said: “I am very proud of Abbie.”