Double Olympic champion Jade Jones brought Team GB’s fourth day at the European Games to a close by landing taekwondo gold in the women’s -57kg category.
In total, two gold, one silver and two bronze medals made up Team GB’s medal tally for day four, with the women’s recurve team taking the top spot in archery, Tokyo 2020 medallist Bradly Sinden claiming -68kg silver in taekwondo, and the artistic swimmers winning bronze in both the duet free and the mixed duet free.
Jones claimed her title after facing off against Hungary’s Marton in the final.
“It’s obviously been a long journey,” she said immediately after her win. “Everyone knows – losing in Tokyo – it’s hard to stay on top, you know, and I’m getting older. People don’t understand how hard sport is, the rollercoaster of it. But I got gold in Rome, I got gold here, so it’s just amazing. A couple of my family are here, too, which is the icing on the cake.”
Bradly Sinden won silver after a convincing victory over Croatia’s Glasnovic in the semis. He withdrew ahead of the gold medal contest with an injury, leaving Spain’s Perez to claim the top spot.
In archery, the women’s recurve team of Penny Healey, Jess Sagoo and Bryony Pitman secured their place at the top of the podium with a victory over France in three sets. After a tie in the first set, the trio shot 55 in the second and 57 in the third to claim gold, making Pitman the first Team GB athlete in history to defend a European Games title. The Tokyo 2020 Olympian won gold in the same event alongside Sarah Bettles and Naomi Folkard at Minsk 2019.
“I’m really happy, I think we put on a good performance,” said Pitman following their victory.
“There were times when we didn’t shoot so well but we always came back from it. We worked really well as a team and it’s paid off. I think we’ve got a strong team dynamic. We started shooting together at the start of last year and had a lot of success on the world cup circuit.
“To come out here and win it again with a new team is amazing – I think it shows the new talent that we have in the UK and it’s an incredible feeling.”
Artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe landed bronze in the Duet Free final, setting the standard with three nations left to swim by posting an improvement of over fifteen points on their preliminaries score.
“We’re just literally over the moon,” said Thorpe.
“For us this is everything we’ve been working towards achieving since we were younger and every time until now we’ve missed out on that medal by margins so this [bronze medal] is amazing.”
Already looking ahead to further ambitions in the sport, Shortman added, “Next we want that Olympic medal and we’re going to fight for it and absolutely train our socks off to try and get there. We’ve got a taste of it today and I can tell that we’re both so motivated. We have a new coach, we have the new rule changes and they suit us perfectly so we’re really excited for the future.”
Further success followed in the Kryta Plywalnia pool in Oswiecim as Beatrice Crass and Ranjuo Tomblin added a second bronze to their collection in the Mixed Duet Free. Performing last on the starting order the pair produced a clean routine to impress the judging panel to a total of 163.9688 and land themselves a spot on the podium.
Reacting to their second medal winning routine of the Games, Crass said: “We’re really pleased, so grateful all the training paid off and to get two routines through this competition with no base marks is just a dream that we really wanted to achieve.
Tomblin echoed his partner’s sentiment and praised teammates Shortman and Thorpe for acting as an inspiration.
“Watching them do such an amazing swim was really motivating as we always look up to them in training and think to ourselves ‘wow that’s so cool, we want to be able to perform like them,’” he said.
“It’s been honestly unbelievable this week – I don’t think we came to this competition thinking we would medal.”
And in sport climbing Team GB’s Dayan Akhtar topped out on two of four routes in the Men’s Boulder to take hold of first place in the semi-final rankings. He is one of just six athletes that will contest the final at the Tarnow Climbing centre on Sunday.