It’s all on track to Tokyo for Max Litchfield after dominant 400m individual medley gold at the LEN European Short Course Championships.
The Yorkshireman, who arrived in Glasgow with an entry time four seconds quicker than any other, delivered Britain’s first EuroSwim gold medal to the delight of a bumper Tollcross crowd.
Litchfield’s family, also in town to see brother Joe compete, watched him open up a lead of over a second on backstroke, extend it to 1.48 on breastroke and touch the wall in 4:01.36.
“It’s amazing! This has been a great pool to me over the years, and to in here and get a win out of that was great,” said Litchfield.
“The crowd were awesome, I could hear them in the breaststroke cheering me on and I’ve got my dad in the crowd as well.
“It’s been a great venue for me over the years and I have some great experiences here, so I’m really pleased.
“I can put the injury behind me now. Obviously, I’m still doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t reoccur at any point which is what you do with any injury that’s major.
“It’s about knuckling down now and working hard into Tokyo.”
Danas Rapsys thumped past home favourite Duncan Scott, throwing down a superb last length to retain his 200m freestyle title in the night’s opening final.
Rapsys, 24, turned for home in fourth with Scott leading but covered the closing 25m in 25.35 to take top step in 1:41.12.
Scott and Rapsys went one-two at Tollcross last summer at the 2018 European long-course, while the Lithunian held sway at the last EuroSwim in Copenhagen where Scott settled for bronze.
And Georgia Davies’ battling 100m backstroke bronze – eight years on from her first EuroSwim medal – saw Britain’s medal tally swell to five, putting them joint third on the early medal table.
Russia pulled off a world record in the mixed 4x50m medley relay, doing as their men’s medley outfit did at the last EuroSwim in 2017 and setting a new global mark.
The 1:36.22 effort of Kliment Kolesnikov, Vladimir Morozov, Arina Surkova and Maria Kameneva surpassed USA’s 1:36.40 from the 2018 world short-course, then anchored by Caeleb Dressel.
Kolesnikov and Morozov were part of the men’s 4x50m squad that blasted to a 1:30.44 world record in Denmark two years ago.
“We have a team with the best specialists in each stroke,” said Morozov.
“Still, you never know what can happen in this type of race – though everything has happened as planned this time.”
Dutch stars Arno Kamminga and Kira Toussaint claimed their maiden international gold medals, scooping 200m breaststroke and 100m backstroke glory respectively.
Kamminga’s was the first Dutch gold in men’s breaststroke since 2010, backing up backstroke bronze on opening night, and Toussaint’s was her nation’s first women’s backstroke title at EuroSwim.
Italy had a vintage Day One, collecting six medals, and added to their haul as Simona Quadrella breezed to 800m freestyle success, compatriot Martina Caramignoli collecting bronze.
And it was a French one-two in the women’s 50m butterfly thanks to Melanie Henique and Beryl Gastadello.
Tickets for EuroSwim2019 are still available HERE or at the Tollcross box office.