Ross Murdoch had to settle for silver as his GB team-mate Adam Peaty set a new championship record in winning the men’s 100m breaststroke at the European Aquatics Championships in London last night.
World record holder Peaty clocked 58.36 seconds – the third fastest time in history – to add the European title to the world gold he won in Kazan last year.
Stirling’s Murdoch, who clocked a time of 59.73 seconds in finishing second, said: “I was racing unrested, so coming away with a silver is not a bad result.
“It would be lovely to win sometimes but if you are racing up against someone like Peaty you have a tough job.”
As well as silver for Murdoch there were bronze medals for Ben Proud and Fran Halsall in the 50m butterfly, as Team GB won a total of five medals on day two at the London Aquatics centre.
Peaty also claimed gold in the 4x100m mixed relay with Halsall, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor as the quartet successfully defended their crown.
Afterwards, 21-year-old Peaty admitted things are “looking good” for his Rio Olympic hopes.
He said: “I’m in a great place.
“It’s probably one of the best swims I’ve ever had and it was great to do it in front of a home crowd. The top four times in the world are mine now so it’s looking good for Rio.
“There’s been amazing support in the aquatics centre and to have Ross alongside me was just great. I haven’t rested for this but my stroke just feels like it’s in a really great place. It feels strong and I’m even better within myself. I didn’t think I’d go under a minute so to do it twice in one week just shows where I am.”
Peaty won his second gold in the final event of the night, the 4x100m mixed relay.
The City of Derby swimmer combined with Halsall, Walker-Hebborn and O’Connor to claim victory in a time of 3:44.56, ahead of Italy and Hungary.
Proud won bronze in the first event of the evening, the 50m butterfly, despite admitting he had a “lack of training” beforehand.
The 21-year-old, who holds two British national records as well as being Commonwealth champion in the event, came third behind Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.
Proud, whose time of 23.24 was two seconds slower than his personal best, said: “My timing on the wall was not quite right but I am happy.
“I only just missed silver but it has given me confidence and I am looking forward to Saturday (the men’s 50m freestyle heats and semi-final).”
Halsall also picked up a third-placed finish, in the women’s 50m butterfly final.
She qualified fastest but was beaten into third by Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden) and Jeanette Ottesen (Denmark) in the final. Halsall said: “I am absolutely delighted to win a medal. A 50m fly is always a huge battle until the last stroke and I am happy to finish in a podium place.”
Team GB could increase their medal haul tonight with five swimmers through to finals. Chloe Tutton and Molly Renshaw are through to the 100m breaststroke showpiece, while Dan Wallace and Max Litchfield are in the final of the men’s 200m breaststroke. James Guy, meanwhile, goes for glory in the 200m freestyle.