10:32AM, Monday 13 August 2018
Tom Dean, second from left, with gold medal.
Swimming prodigy Tom Dean won a gold medal at the European Championships, just a few weeks after finishing on top of the podium at the European Junior Championships.
Dean, from Maidenhead Marlins, was part of the GB men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team which secured gold in Glasgow, with Dean completing his leg in 1min 47.07secs to keep GB in front going into the final leg.
It is a remarkable transition between jun- ior and senior swimming at the highest level, but one the 18-year-old is enjoying.
“It was tough coming back from European Juniors and back into training straight away after what was my target,” he said.
“To come here and be selected for Europeans is a huge honour. To be able to swim in the final as well is amazing.”
His success is no surprise to his coach at Marlins, Paul Lloyd, who believes Dean has a golden future in the sport.
“I’m not surprised by what he did, but I’m delighted. I expected him to swim that fast,” he said.
“To do that in back-to-back championships is not easy, as he will have trained to peak for the European Juniors.
“To maintain his funding, Tom had to win the European Juniors, which he did, and it’s the momentum from that which we are seeing.”
Looking ahead, Lloyd added: “I know British Swimming see him as a potential Olympic champion of the future.
“Kevin Renshaw, British Swimming’s pathway implementation manager, called him the brightest male junior prospect in the country.
“But Tom’s also a role model for the sport and we are all very proud of him.”
Dean finished ninth in the 200 individual medley (IM) and competes in the 400IM today (Thursday).
Maidenhead rower Jack Beaumont won a bronze medal alongside Harry Leask in the men’s double sculls at the European Championships Regatta.
Finishing on the podium was even more impressive as the duo only had a week to train together following the withdrawal of Angus Groom.
The Leander crewmates found their rhythm immediately, winning the heat and semi, before battling hard for third in the final, missing out on silver by just 0.14secs.
A delighted Beaumont said afterwards: “It’s great to win a medal at any event, but a European Championships in Great Britain is something special.
“We came in with the ambition to win it, and we didn’t quite manage to pull it off, but I’m so proud of what we did.”
The next target is the week-long World Championships which take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria starting on September 9.
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