More medal joy for Abbie Wood in Budapest

Abbie Wood continued her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics by adding another medal to her collection from the LEN European Aquatics Championships at the Duna Arena in Budapest.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 10:49 am
Abbie Wood poses on the podium after the final of the women's 200m individual medley at the LEN European Aquatics Championships at the Duna Arena in Budapest. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Having won two gold medals early in the week-long event, the 22-year-old from Buxton claimed what was her first individual major international medal with a silver in the 200m individual medley.

Wood finished just 0.04 seconds behind winner Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel and was ahead of Hungary's reigning Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu, who was third.

She said: "To be head-to-head with her [Hosszu] is a dream and to set a good time and win the medal, I really couldn't ask for much more.

“Racing in a senior final is completely different to anything I’ve done before and that’s my first individual senior medal.

“Just to be able to do that and produce a good time on an international stage is all I’ve wanted, especially when we’re not as rested as we could be – I couldn’t have asked for much more.

“Kicking off the week with three relay swims, which I didn’t really expect because I’m not a freestyler – but I guess now I am – to then focus on the individuals has been a hard turnaround.

“But with this back-to-back swimming, it will make Tokyo seem so easy when I’ve only got one swim per session – to double up last night is probably the biggest learning experience I could have got.”

It was the second individual final of the week for the Loughborough University student, with a fifth place in the 200m breaststroke having seen her finish just 0.62 seconds outside a podium spot.

Remarkably, it was barely half-an-hour later that she then competed in the semi-final for the individual medley, qualifying for the final in fifth place and then going on to take the silver medal the following day.

The Europeans proved a fruitful event for Wood and her Loughborough team-mates, who brought home 15 medals between them including seven golds.

Wood’s continually good form bodes well for the Olympics, particularly in the individual medley where she is now second in the world rankings behind Australia’s Kaylee McKeown.