Drake Tames the Europeans

Event:  XII European Masters Championships Venue:  Cadiz, Spain Date:  15th to 19th September 2009

The coastal port of Cadiz in south-west Spain was the setting for this year’s European Masters Championships, with John Drake competing as Swindon Dolphin’s sole entrant.  The five day event took place at the City of Cadiz Sports Centre that boasts a superb 2,500 seat swimming arena.


Drake’s first appearance was on the second day of competition in what is currently probably his best event, the 100m butterfly.  Following a disappointing Championships two years ago in Slovenia and a lacklustre season last year, Drake was determined for a good result this time.  The 35 year old did not disappoint, with a 1:01.30 (8th place) that was over a second faster than his previous best swum at the British Championships in June and two seconds faster than he was swimming last year.

The following day Drake took on both the 200m butterfly and the 400m freestyle; a tough challenge by anyone’s standards.  Although the 2:33.07s (10th place) and 4:47.09s (20th place) did not set personal bests, the butterfly was a vast improvement on last year’s performances and the freestyle saw his welcome return to distance swimming after a two year break.

The penultimate day of competition saw Drake’s final swim of the Championships in the 50m butterfly.  Another personal best swim in 27.42s rounded off a successful Championships for Drake who, having finished as a top 3 Briton in each event entered must surely be looking forward to a healthy medal haul at the next domestic championships.

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