July 21 - Britain claimed four gold medals on the second day of competition at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tampere today.
The victories came in the swimming pool and on the track while silver medals in cycling in the pool completed an outstanding day for Britain, which leaves them with nine medals from three sports after just two days of competition.
The highly rated Myles Couch-Anderson, from Irthlingborough, got the day off to to a flying start with a convincing victory in the 400 metres freestyle in 3min 55.42sec at the Tampere Swimming Centre.
Crouch-Anderson, 16, was pleased with the result, but saw room for even further improvement in his speed.
He said: “Although the time was a personal best, I could’ve gone even faster, but the gold medal is what I came for and that’s what I’ve got.
"Representing my country and standing on the podium with the medal around my neck and the Olympic rings on my top felt great.
“Hopefully in three years time I’ll be able to stand there with another Olympic medal."
Just moments later 13-year-old Amelia Maughan from Dorset enhanced her growing reputation by doubling the gold medal tally for the day by claiming the women’s 100m freestyle crown in 56.93sec.
She said: “My reaction time was pretty bad, but I tried to go out fast. I realised I was in front of the Italian girl, but behind the French - my two main rivals.
"At the turn I was behind and about ten metres away from the finish I thought ‘I can’t do this, I’m going to come second’, but I tried my hardest and managed to overtake her in the final metre at the end."
Maughan was delighted with the performance.
She said: “It’s a mega-PB (personal best), almost a second faster than my previous personal best.
"This is the biggest achievement of my career and my first international gold medal.
"Standing on the podium was breathtaking.
"My next race is the 50m freestyle, which is my stronger event so I’m confident going into that too."
The mixed 4x200m relay team consisting of Couch-Anderson, Rachel Martin, Matthew Parks and Kathryn Woolston-Thomas added a silver medal to the rising British tally.
Attention then turned from the pool to the Tampere Ratina Stadium where Stroud's Jenny Batten smashed her personal best for the second time this week to claim a stunning victory in the women’s 100m sprint in 11.73.
She said: “I’m so excited. It was a massive personal best for me and I really wasn’t expecting that, it is amazing.
"I’ve always hoped I could run that quickly but everything just went for me.
"I had the best start I could have hoped for and my legs felt so strong at the end that I was actually pulling away. It was a really amazing race."
In the final event of today’s athletics programme, Elderslie's Callum Hawkins brought the perfect conclusion to a tremendous day for Britain by taking the 3,000m title in fine style, much to the appreciation of the flag-waving support in the crowd, who cheered him wildly as he crossed the line in 8:23.62.
The Scot said: “I’m so pleased and so proud, this is the biggest achievement of my life.
"Being on the podium when that flag went up was just great.
"We started off very fast, so I hung back, slowly worked my way up to the front and with 300m to go.
"I kicked for home, went away from the rest and managed to keep it going all the way to the finish.”
The first day of the cycling competition also paid dividends for Britain as Totton's Jonathan Dibben struck silver in the individual time trial.
Dibben said; “I'm in shock to be honest.
"I didn't think I had gone that well.
"I felt okay but I'm delighted to have got the medal. It was a very proud moment for me.
"It was unbelievable and it's not sunk in, but I've got two more races to go and I'll focus on them now."