Joe strikes gold in thrilling final

Badsworth swimmer Joe Litchfield.
Badsworth swimmer Joe Litchfield.

Badsworth’s Joe Litchfield, who attends Pontefract’s New College, played his part in a strong display by the British swimming team in Hungary at the LEN European Junior Swimming Championships.

Great Britain won a total of five gold medals, with Litchfield also winning a continental title.

He secured the title and European junior gold in the men’s 200metres individual medley in a race that saw a tightly fought battle to the touch.

Litchfield won by 0.06 seconds and only 0.68 seconds separated the top four in the final.

Entering the championships with a personal best of 2:03.92, he reached the semi-finals with a new best of 2:03.23.

He then improved again to make the final as second fastest qualifier with 2:01.88.

He won the final in 2:01.07 so there was a massive improvement of 2.85 seconds knocked of his personal best time in three races in two days.

Litchfield said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. I wasn’t expecting that.

“I just focused on the process and I just knew I was never going to give up.  I gave it all I had up to the final stroke.”

Joe is following in the footsteps of his elder brother Max who recently won the British title in the 400 metres in the British Championships and Olympic trials in Glasgow and will be representing Team GB in Rio on August 6.