Miley, French teen star Agnel, land Euro swimming gold
Budapest: Britain`s Hannah Miley bagged Britain`s first gold medal at the Euros in Budapest after edging out world champion Katinka Hosszu in the women`s 400m individual medley while French teen Yannick Agnel shocked men`s 400m freestyle world champion Paul Biedermann.
Scotland`s Miley gave herself a belated birthday present the day after turning 21, lit up the pool turning first after producing a stunning breaststroke leg.
She then maintained her form in the freestyle before finishing in a championship record 4min 43.09sec with home favourite Hosszu trailing in at 3.34sec.
"That is really unexpected. It`s just great," Miley told Eurosport.
"We`ve worked so hard, me and my dad (coach Patrick) and he has put so much planning into it.”
"I wanted to make my statement to the world: I`m coming through," she enthused after seeing off Hosszu before the latter`s home fans.
"The Hungarians really put me under pressure," she added.
Another Hungarian, Zsuzsanna Jakabos, took bronze as Miley bagged her first major win since announcing her arrival as a contender with fourth place, also in the 400m individual relay, at last year`s World Championships in Rome.
The British contingent were also celebrating after the women took silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay with Amy Smith, Fran Halsall, Jessica Sylvester and Jo Jackson delivering as the quartet secured second behind Germany and ahead of Sweden.
The Germans won in 3:37.72 with the British foursome touching in 3:38.57 and the Swedes timing 3:38.81.
Glory in the men`s 4x100m freestyle went to Russia, who edged out France but the French were exultant after 18-year-old Agnel won the men`s 400m freestyle, ten years after a neighbour spotted his talent in a local pool.
That led to his joining a club and, a decade after being inspired by watching television footage of Pieter Van den Hoogenband and Ian Thorpe at the Sydney Olympics, Agnel put his own name in the record books.
"I remember watching VDH and Thorpe open-mouthed, they were my idols," enthused Agnel, who timed 3:46.17 to see off world champion and world record holder Paul Biedermann of Germany by 0.17sec.
"He was just better," Biedermann conceded.
Agnel was, however, unable to prevent the Russians capturing the 4x100m freestyle.
The youngster came to Budapest hungry for more success after winning five gold medals at July`s junior Euros in Helsinki.
Russia`s Andrey Greshin was happy his team managed to prevent Agnel getting another title in the 4x100m freestyle in which the French were heavily favoured.
"Our sole goal was to beat the French - and we did it," said Greshin.
France again were pipped in an event where they also took Olympic silver in Beijing as Alain Bernard, 100m Olympic freestyle champion, was unable to keep pace with Daniil Izotov allowing Russia to win in 3:12.46 to 3:13.29 for France.