Swimming: Britain struggle on return to Europe

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The Independent Online

Returning to European competition for the first time in six years, the British team found out just how much changed in their absence. A world record from Germany in the women's 4 x 100 metres freestyle relay rounded off a terrific first day of competition at the European championships in Budapest, where Britons struggled to make an impact on what, in truth, is likely to be their weakest day of the competition.

The Scot David Carry, the Commonwealth champion over 400m freestyle, set a lifetime best to qualify for the final, but was blown away in a high quality field, won by the dominant Russian, Yuri Prilukov, finishing in fifth place. Rebecca Cooke, Commonwealth silver medallist in the 400m individual medley, finished sixth last night, 10 seconds behind the winner, Italy's Alessia Filipi, while the 17-year-old British prospect Hannah Miley was seventh.

Day two today, will be better: James Gibson, Chris Cook and Mel Marshall all looked strong in last night's semi-finals - but the team will be judged not on how strong they look, but how many medals they win.

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