York swimmer James Wilby claims gold in 200m breastroke at European Aquatic Championships in Rome

PA picture- James Wilby European Aquatic Championships gold 200m breaststroke 14082022
James Wilby earned his second gold medal in a number of weeks after success in the pool at the Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA

James Wilby claimed his first individual European title in the men's 200m breaststroke as Great Britain won a medal of each colour in Rome.

The York swimmer's victory kicked off a memorable 15-minute period which also brought silver for Freya Anderson in the women's 200m freestyle and bronze for the men's 4x100m freestyle relay quartet of Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards, Tom Dean and Ed Mildred.

"It's been a year where my approach has been very different, it's been a lot more enjoyment-focused and just making sure that I'm really happy doing the sport, in training and through the competitions," said Wilby, who won the 100m title at the Commonwealth Games.

"This is our third major international - I honestly try not to think about that too much because I don't want to think how tired I potentially am. But at the end of the day, I'm just really happy, I'm really enjoying myself."

James Wilby takes in the atmosphere in Rome after claiming gold in the 200m breaststroke. Credit: PA

Anderson finished 0.16 seconds behind Marrit Steenbergen of the Netherlands to claim her fourth medal of the week after taking bronze in the 100m freestyle and two relay medals.

"The body is very sore right now," Anderson said. "I'd have loved to have won gold but it's the third meet this season and I can't complain at that.

"I've been learning a lot every time I race, learning how to manage the physical and emotional energies surrounding meets. I've got a lot in my back pocket to take forward from here."

In the relay, Mildred took over in second place after a superb swim from Dean on the third leg but was unable to hold off Hungary's Kristof Milak on the final 100m.