European Championships: Team GB 'spurred on by Glasgow 2014'

By David McDaidBBC Sport
Jazz Carlin
Jazz Carlin is among nine Commonwealth gold medallists in the GB squad for the European Championships
European Swimming Championships
Venue: Berlin Dates: 18-24 August
BBC Coverage: Daily on Red Button, online, mobile, tablet and BBC Sport app from 17:00 BST. Highlights on Monday 25 August at 13:00 on BBC Two

Jazz Carlin believes the home nations' recent success at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow bodes well for Team GB going into the European Championships.

Carlin's 800m freestyle gold for Wales was among 45 British swimming medals - exceeding British Swimming's target.

The 23-year-old from Swansea will join eight other Commonwealth individual-event champions in the Great Britain team in Berlin from Monday.

"I really think Glasgow's going to spur a lot of us on," she said.

The relatively small squad of 23 reflects the "optional" nature of the meet, as it comes less than a month after the main British focus of the year in Glasgow.

Hannah Miley, Michael Jamieson and Dan Wallace are among the notable names who will be absent in Germany.

Fran Halsall
Fran Halsall won double gold at Glasgow 2014 in the 50m butterfly and freestyle

Britain's main hopes include Fran Halsall, who posted the fastest 50m freestyle time in the world this year in Glasgow.

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor is the world number one in the 200m individual medley, two seconds faster than the next quickest European swimmer.

Ross Murdoch also tops the world 200m breaststroke rankings, while Ben Proud is the world's best this year in the 50m butterfly.

Team GB head coach Bill Furniss said last week that the challenge for British Swimming will be to maintain the high levels of performance seen at Glasgow 2014.

Carlin believes it is possible though, and thinks she and her team-mates can return home with more medals.

"I definitely think so, we're all going to do the best we can," she said. "It's tough having two major competitions within a month but I really think Glasgow's going to spur a lot of us on.

"The team we have got is a strong one and we have a mix of youth and experienced swimmers.

"It's the last major meet of the season and we want to finish on a high.

"A lot of people were really happy with their performance in Glasgow, but some felt they could go faster and want to prove a point."

Glasgow 2014 gold medallists in GB squad
Fran Halsall (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly)
Ross Murdoch (200m breaststroke)
Jazz Carlin (800m freestyle)
Adam Peaty (100m breaststroke)
Siobhan O'Connor (200m individual medley)
Georgia Davies (50m backstroke)
Sophie Taylor (100m breaststroke)
Ben Proud (50m butterfly, 50m freestyle)
Chris Walker-Hebborn (100m backstroke)

The 23-year-old, herself, falls into both camps.

Her gold medal-winning time in Glasgow of eight minutes 18.11 seconds is the fastest of any European this year by more than five seconds.

"I was really happy with my performance," said Carlin, "but I wasn't really happy with the time - I know I can go faster.

"I think at the Europeans it's a really strong field but hopefully that can push me on to a faster time.

"I don't really have any expectation, but I still have a lot of drive.

"It would be amazing to be on the podium again, it's been a good year and I still feel in great shape.

"If ever there was a year for me to swim well at both the Commonwealths and Europeans back-to-back now is the time to do it."

As well as the swimmers, Team GB will also be hoping for medals from its diving squad.

Glasgow gold medal winners Tom Daley, Jack Laugher, Chris Mears, Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg all travel to Berlin.

Sarah Barrow and Hannah Starling, who won Commonwealth silver and bronze respectively, complete the line-up.

Laugher said: "I am excited to be getting back into action. The Europeans will provide a tough challenge on the 3m springboard.

"I haven't won a European-level medal before so it would be great to round off my season with another podium position."

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