European Championships: Great Britain finish with 30 gold medals

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Stephanie Slater
Steph Slater beat Heather Frederiksen's British record, set in 2009, by 0.77 seconds

Britain's Steph Slater finished with seven golds on the final day of the IPC Swimming European Championships.

The 23-year-old from Preston set a new European record as she powered to victory in the S8 50m freestyle.

"I've always loved the event because I enjoy my sprints. It's one I'll hopefully work a lot more on in the future," she said.

Slater then helped the women's medley relay team to victory as GB finished with 30 gold medals in Eindhoven.

Stephanie Millward, Claire Cashmore and Amy Marren, together with Slater, claimed the win in the last race of the seven-day competition.

The quartet's success helped GB to finish third in the table on 73 medals behind Ukraine and Russia.

GB success in Eindhoven
Steph Slater - Seven golds (five individual, two relay)
Stephanie Millward - Five golds (three individual, two relay), one silver, one bronze
Susie Rodgers - Five golds (one relay), one silver
Andrew Mullen - Four golds, two silver

Slater was a talented able-bodied swimmer before suffering nerve damage to the left-hand side of her body which forced her to give up the sport.

However, after being a Gamesmaker at the London 2012 Paralympics she realised that Para-swimming was open to her and returned to the pool later that year and now swims using just her right arm.

She only qualified fifth fastest for the 50m freestyle but held it back for the final, winning in 30.44 seconds, beating the 31.21 set by former GB swimmer Heather Frederiksen in 2009.

The medley title was also a second medal of the day for Marren and Millward who won silver and bronze behind Spain's Sarai Gascon in the S9 100m butterfly.

Glasgow teenager Andrew Mullen, 17, was another to finish on a high note with his fourth gold of the week, this time in the S5 100m backstroke.

Paraswimmer Andrew Mullen in action
Glasgow's Andrew Mullen finished the week with six medals, including four golds

Mullen's time of 37.56 seconds smashed the 38.78 record held by Hungary's Zsolt Vereczkei set at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

"The backstroke has been an event that I've not managed to drop as much time as I'd have liked but to do that in a European final in a European record is just great," he said.

'It's been a great week. I've had a 100% PB record, four gold medals and two silvers - I don't think I could have asked for any more."

Ellie Simmonds won her third gold of the week with a superb display on her first time to race the SB6 100m breaststroke internationally.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds
Ellie Simmonds broke her own world record to win gold in the SM6 200m individual medley earlier in the week in Eindhoven

The 19-year-old set a new personal best of one minute 41.26 seconds to finish almost 12 seconds clear of the rest of the field in an event she describes as 'fun'.

"I'm really pleased to have another gold medal and also a PB," said the four-time Paralympic champion.

"I'm so happy to be ending this competition on such a high."

Her GB team-mate Charlotte Henshaw, who won silver at London 2012 and bronze at last year's World Championships in Montreal, would have been challenging Simmonds for gold but was forced to pull out of the competition earlier this week on medical advice.

There were silvers for Hannah Russell (S12 400m freestyle) and the men's medley relay team of Ollie Hynd, Jack Bridge, James Hollis and Matt Walker as well as Jack Thomas who finished just ahead of team-mate Craig Harris in the S14 200m medley.

Jessica-Jane Applegate took bronze in the women's S14 medley.