Ieuan_LloydJuly 20 - Britain's swimmers got the ball rolling with a hat-trick of medals, led by Welshman Ieuan Lloyd (pictured), in the pool the first day of European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland.

Lloyd, who is from Penarth, was the star of the show as he converted his stated pre-competition ambition of winning gold in the 200 metres individual medley into reality to claim Britain's first title in a thrilling race.

The large contingent of British support in the Tampere Swimming Centre had earlier cheered Grant Halsall to a bronze medal in the men’s 200m backstroke final.

The result for the 15-year-old from the Isle of Man was made all the more impressive by the fact it was achieved from lane eight after he had, by his own admission, performed below par in his morning heat.

The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team concluded Britain's medal haul on day one with another bronze.

The team of Natasha Hofton, Rachel Martin, Amelia Maughan and Kathryn Woolston-Thomas finished in a time of 3min 30.71sec.

They were narrowly beaten by France and Italy, who took gold and silver respectively.

Lloyd, who turned 16 earlier this month and is the current British age group record holder for the 200m individual event was delighted with his day’s work.

He said: “It feels great to win the first gold medal for Team GB.

"I thought I was going to clear the field in the breaststroke, like I did in the heats but the guy from Poland stuck with me, so I had to finish really strongly and I pulled it out of the bag in the end."

His rivals have plenty to fear looking ahead.

The Welshman said: “Now I’m feeling really confident for my next race, which is the 400m medley on Friday.

"The crowd was fantastic tonight.

"It was quite close with one leg to go so all the screaming and shouting was really loud.

"I’m just glad I won it."