Swimming: Palmer's pressure rewarded by gold

PAUL PALMER dominated his rivals to win gold in dramatic fashion in the 400 metres freestyle last night.

In the first final on a humid night at the European championships in Istanbul, Palmer attacked the race from the start. Leading for the first 150 metres, he had slipped to third by the half-way mark.

The Italian Emiliano Brembilla, the defending champion, took the lead and was looking relaxed and confident. But Palmer was not finished. A dogged final 100 metres had him neck and neck with Brembilla in the closing stages. And it was Palmer who had the strength to win in a time of 3:48.12sec, just 0.1sec outside his British record of '93.

"I wasn't going out by myself so I let them catch up," said Palmer. "I kept my eye on them all and at the last turn I just went all out for home. It was a really good tactical race." Swimming in his preferred full body suit, completely covering his torso, arms and legs, Palmer is in an excellent position to add another Olympic medal to the silver he won in Atlanta in '96.

Britain's women won a second medal in a successful first day of these championships. The 4x100 freestyle team won bronze in a time of 3:43.55, and all were close to their best. Alison Sheppard led off the team and set a Scottish record in the 100 free of 56.21. Claire Huddart and Karen Pickering put the team in medal contention and Sue Rolph anchored with a 54.49 to miss the silver narrowly.

It was Pickering's ninth European bronze medal and she was in buoyant mood. "We're getting better and better," she said. "The Swedes will have to watch their backs next year."

Sweden finished runners-up to a powerful German team that dominated from the start. Rolph and German Sandra Volker will dispute the individual 100 metres title, the heats of which start this morning.

Semi-finals have been included in the programme at this year's championships for the first time since 1962. Races of 200 metres and below now have semis and it is a format which seems to add excitement to the finals sessions. The first two in each semi-final qualify by right, along with the next fastest four.

Mark Foster was one who enjoyed his progression to the final of the 50 metres butterfly today. "I paced myself," he said after a comfortable in qualification from his semi final. "The finish was awful but it's tomorrow that counts and there's only going to be two of us in it."

He will have to use every inch of his 6ft 7in frame to overcome the favourite, Pieter Van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands, who is fastest into the final, and set the fastest-ever relay split, a staggering 47.31, to anchor their 4x100 relay team to gold. The British team was sixth, just 0.3sec outside the British record.

Thirty-year-old Martin Harris is well placed for a medal in tonight's final of the 100 metres backstroke. The Commonwealth champion is coached by his father, Ray, at the Tower Hamlets club in London, and qualified equal fourth in a field where just half a second separates seven of the eight finalists.

Commonwealth gold medallist in backstroke Katy Sexton, from Portsmouth, won her 200 metres backstroke semi-final in 2:14.52. The 16-year-old overhauled the defending champion, Cathleen Rund, in the final 50 metres. Ashton's Helen Don-Duncan joins Sexton in the final.

Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor