Double gold for Buxton's Abbie Wood at European Championships

Buxton’s Abbie Wood has continued her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics with two gold medals at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 11:36 am
Abbie Wood shows off her second gold medal alongside coach Dave Hemmings in Budapest. She has two more individual events later this week. (Photo courtesy of Dave Hemmings)

Wood first helped the women’s 4x100m freestyle team to victory on Monday night and was then part of the mixed 4x200m squad to take gold 24 hours later.

And the 22-year-old still has the individual events to come in Budapest, with the 200m breaststroke on Thursday and the 200m individual medley on Friday, having set the fourth and second fastest qualifying times respectively.

She will race in both of those events in Tokyo.

Monday’s race saw Wood produce a storming third leg, swimming 53.90 before handing over to Freya Anderson on the anchor leg who saw Team GB home ahead of the Netherlands and France in a new British record time that will also mean the team can race in the same event at the Olympics.

Wood said afterwards: “We are surprised! We came here to do the best we could but also to make ourselves more visible in respect with the men’s team.

“It’s a group of really strong freestyle girls and I feel like I just had to pull my weight and give it a go. To come away with my first senior medal and a British record I’m just over the moon, and it’s a really good start to the meet.”

Tuesday then saw Wood alongside Anderson, Tom Dean and James Guy in the mixed 4x200m freestyle, the quartet also topping the podium in both a British and championship record time of 7:26.67.

Team GB led throughout, with Dean (1:46.54) and Guy (1:45.43) providing Wood and Anderson with an advantage of more than a second against the chasing Italians.

Wood was still ahead after the third leg, clocking 1:56.67 to ensure Anderson had a 0.14 second lead going into the final 200m.

Anderson then swam 1:58.03 as Britain knocked 1.76 seconds off the previous championship best.

Wood, who is coached at Loughborough University where she also studies criminology, will be competing in her first Olympics in Tokyo which begin on July 23 , with the swimming events from July 24 until August 1. Wood will travel to Japan for a two-week training camp prior to the Games beginning.