Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood seals gold at European Games 2015

Buxton's Abbie Wood celebrates her gold in the 400m IM at the European Games in Azerbaijan.
Buxton's Abbie Wood celebrates her gold in the 400m IM at the European Games in Azerbaijan.
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Buxton’s Abbie Wood scooped gold in the women’s 400m individual medley at the Euorpean Games in Azerbaijan.

Wood, who qualified quickest for the final, came home in 4:41.97 to claim top spot on the podium and edge out Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato and Anja Crevar into the silver and bronze medal positions respectively.

The 16-year-old’s win in Baku also doubles up to make her the European Junior Champion.

A delighted Abbie said afterwards: “It’s my first European medal so I’m really excited about it.

“It’s a surreal feeling.

“I was pretty confident from the heats but it hurt so I wasn’t sure if I could go any faster.

“Yet I knew everyone would step it up for the final so I had to as well and the pressure was on.

“The 400m IM is so different from the 50m and my weakness is definitely the backstroke so I always know that I have to bring it back on the breaststroke, which is my strongest, and I try to get a good start with my fly.”

There could be more joy on the way today, as Abbie swims in the heats of the 200m breaststroke with the final taking place on Thursday.

She will also compete in the 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley later in the week.