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Golden girl Abbie Wood revels in European Games’ exploits

Buxton's Abbie Wood, who clinched gold in the 400m IM at the Euopean Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Buxton's Abbie Wood, who clinched gold in the 400m IM at the Euopean Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Abbie Wood says she is delighted after her exploits at the inaugural European Games earned her four medals.

The Buxton swimmer clinched gold in the 400m individual medley and quickly followed that up with a bronze in the 200 IM.

Buxton's Abbie Wood, who clinched gold in the 400m IM at the Euopean Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Buxton's Abbie Wood, who clinched gold in the 400m IM at the Euopean Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Abbie also claimed a silver and bronze in the team relay events to cap off a hugely successful tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Speaking after returning home from the event, she told the Advertiser the whole experience had been hugely successful, if not surreal in parts.

“It was just a surreal experience really,” she said.

“It went really well and to come away with four medals while performing on such a big scale is great.

“It’s definitely given me more confidence knowing I can perform at this level.

“The whole build-up in Azerbaijan was amazing and everywhere we went, on the team coach, we were cheered and people knew who were.”

Abbie’s exploits began when she claimed the first swimmer to claim a gold at the European Games.

The 16-year-old won the 400m IM crown in a time of four minutes, 41.97 seconds.

That was a whole two seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato.

She said of the gold win: “The pressure was on for that event but luckily I pulled it off.”

Wood then added a bronze to her collection as she recorded a personal best time of 2:14.49 to pip another Italian, this time Sara Franceschi, to the final podium spot during the 200 IM.

She added: “To get bronze was a surprise because I’d already got the gold and didn’t really expect anything in the 200m.

“But I’m glad I got a PB because after the 400m IM I knew it would be hard to keep going.”

Despite her exploits on the European stage, Abbie still has training to attend and is gearing up for more events this year including the British Summer Championships in Sheffield at the end of this month.