The team embarked on a 2000-mile arduous journey by plane and then an overnight train to the city of Saransk. The team then had two days to recuperate and settle into the hotel.
The competition was held at the modern Water Sport Palace, which met international standards and was very impressive.
The first race of the competition started with one of the starting lights failing and gave one of the GB swimmers a slow start. This was disappointing, in fact an embarrassment for the organisers particularly with it being a high standards competition for deaf swimmers.
However despite this overall team GB achieved 32 individual finals and 2 Gold, 4 Silvers and 3 Bronze medals:
Danielle Joyce: 2Gold, 4Silvers and 3 Bronze
Lucy Walkup: 1 Bronze 100FCRelay, (4th) 50BR,
Emily Noden: 1 Bronze 100FCRelay, (4th) 50FLY (5th)
Emma Lees: 1 Bronze 100FCRelay,
Ciara Tappenden: (8th) 200BR
Jasmine Seamarks (8th) 200BK, 400IM
Polly Saines: (5th) 200FLY
Oliver Kenny: (6th) 400IM
Kieran Holdbrook: (7th) 1500M
Tom Baxter, Luke Nisted and Matthew Oaten also swam well gaining just missing out on the finals but all swimming PB’s.
With the team swimming many new personal bests and breaking many records during the competition the future is looking very bright for this young squad.
Danielle Joyce smashed the World Deaf Record, European Deaf Record and European Deaf Championship record in the 200 Backstroke. Danielle was the only female swimmer that broke a World record in an individual event out of the whole competition.
Danielle also achieved European Deaf Championship Record in the 50m Backstroke.
On top of all that success the team broke a total of 8 individual British and Youth Deaf records and 1 relay British Deaf record.
Along with 17 British Age Group records broken by Ciara Tappenden, Emma Lees, Jasmine Seamarks, Oliver Kenny, Polly Saines and Matthew Oaten. There were also 9 Welsh Deaf records broken by Emily Noden and 13 Scottish Deaf records broken by Danielle Joyce and Lucy Walkup.
Emma Lees, Lucy Walkup, Emily Noden and Danielle Joyce broke the British and British Youth record in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay in a time of 4.43.38 previously 4.45.67 in Melbourne 2005.
On the last day capping what was a great week for her, Danielle Joyce received a special award as top women, for gaining most points in whole competition.
Sam Chamberlain stated that “Overall team GB did excellent and achieved PBs 59 times in both heats and finals out of 103 swims”.
In the medals table Great Britain came 5th out of 11 countries with a total of 9 medals. This was a huge improvement compared to the last Europeans in Germany 4 years ago where team only won 2 bronzes.
Sam told UKDS “I would like to thank all the swimmers efforts, the parents fantastic support and in particular Mel Davis for managing the team. As this was my first time I felt privileged and proud to be head coach for the GB deaf team. Sam added “I have learnt and gained a lot from the valuable experience as head coach. I wish all the swimmers success in the future, train hard and improve for the World Championships next year.