What an amazing experience, and unbelievable our blog has been read by 287 different people, viewing it a total of 661 times!!!! (Probably no-one today, but thought we would finish it off anyway with a BIG THANKYOU to you all for sharing the experience with us).
Not a brilliant journey home as we hit big traffic delays all the way up the M1 (did they not know we had a World Record Holder and medalists in our car - could have had the decency to keep the traffic flowing a bit better). Dropped Ben off to his delighted parents just after 8pm and we were home just before 9pm.
Up early now and cannot believe the amount of washing we have brought home - especially as Andy and I didn't wear half of what we took.
Roll of Honour...
21 swimmers in team GB - fantastic achievements with everyone exceeding expectations
The coaching Team - Harry, Val, Gordon D, Gordon P, Pauline, Graham, and of course our very own wonderful Gemma - for giving up two weeks of their precious time to guide and support our swimmers through an amazing experience.
Wives/husbands/partners/children of the above who have allowed the coaching Team to go and pick up all the domestics while they were away.
GB Supporters - for out-cheering the competition.
Coaches back at home - for getting our swimmers to this level.
Chris and Andy signing out.....
After swimming three races this morning Jo looked a little tired this afternoon, but swam her all in her two breaststroke races finishing 7th in the World in the 50m race and 8th in the 200m, which we were thrilled with.
Ben gained another silver medal in his final and we have lost count of how many medals he has won - now possibly more than Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps put together.
Our GB Team came 3rd over all, with Italy 2nd and Australia 1st (no surprises there!).
Well done to all the swimmers and coaches - they did a fantastic job, however they are still on duty at the end of championship Gala dinner and disco.
Today is all a bit rushed and we have to be up early in the morning. Off to the supporters party now.
Will update on Saturday for a final blog.
Thanks for reading.
On the final day of the competition and Joannes busiest day - 2 breast stroke races, followed swiftly by a place in the medley relay team, we were a bit on tenderhooks on how it would all pan out as the team are beginning to look tired after 4 days of competition.
In the 50m breaststroke Jo came 6th in her heat but managed a time that has taken her into the Final this evening - thrilled on that score. Five races later and she was in the 200m breaststroke where we witnessed one of her best swims ever, as she held onto 1st place in her heat, despite contant pressure from the Swede, and coming in with a PB time. - ecstatic and what a credit to Gemma, her coach!! - (also not forgetting the work of Phillip and Susan back home). Two places therefore in the Finals tonight. We have no expectations as she one of the slower qualifiers but just to get to the Final is a magnificent achievement.
Not a lot of time to celebrate as two races later, out she comes again, to take her place in the 4 x 100m relay GB Women's Team. All swam magnificently to secure a silver on the Podium to be presented this evening.
(Note for Florence's mum who returned home today - Florence swam a brilliant leg and handed over to Jo in first place ' what a girl!).
Apologies to TEAM SWEENEY. Ben told us the other day that he had finished all his races, however, up he popped in the 200IM this morning, finishing 4th in his heat and qualifying for his final this evening.
The latest rumour is that there is a problem with our flight home tomorrow and arrangements are currently in hand to fly us out from Milan and into Heathrow with a bus to Gatwick (Oh Joy!).
Our girls did us proud as they swam their hearts out in the 4 x 50m medley relay Final, securing a silver medal and a second visit to the medal podium for Joanne. Well done Joanne, Florence, Sarah and Fiona for a brilliant swim and making us proud.
In the men's relay race, it was unfortunate that the Austrialian team who rode the ropes in their heat did not get disqualified (can't understand that one, but there was obviously nothing in the FINA rule book that says you can't do that), and our boys team came a very creditable 4th place.
We have had a new entry into the Paramedic-omoter with both the Portugese Team and Italians now joining the league table.
Please to report that the 25m flag posts have remained firmly in place all today as there are clearly not enough Italians to cope if they get into another tangle.
Well, of course, there cannot be a day of swimming without a drama! And we thought we had made it through until we came to the last race of the day.... the 4 x 200 m freestyle medley for the men. Now we have seen many occasion during this competition where it has been evident that the some of the men have difficulty in counting how many laps they have done ... and this race was not to disappoint!! Each swimmer was meant to do 8 lengths each, but by the time the race was over no-one had a clue whether swimmers had done 6 lengths, 8 lengths, or 10 lengths, and we even had an occasion where two swimmers were swimming in the same lane at one time. The benefits for the Canadian team was that, although they finished last, they actually managed to win a bronze medal due to the number of disqualifications. None of really had a clue what was going on!!
Managed to take 4 of the Canadian supporters for quick pint tonight. Off for an early night in anticipation of another action packed day tomorrow.
Joanne has two races tomorrow so watch this space!
P:S: Has anyone seen Susan Cornish at coaching sessions for the past two weeks? There is someone is sitting in the South Africian supporters team who just looks like her.
What a brilliant morning of races, although Ben has now finished all his events and with many more GOLDDDDD's than Michael Phelps, he is shouting for his team mates and gradually becoming hoarse like all the GB supporters.
Joanne had a "leisurely swim" in the 200m backstroke adding 6 seconds to her PB i.e slower (which we hoped meant she had decided to save herself for the 50m Medley relay!)
The Paramedics continue to be one of the busiest officials at the event although drama of the day was when a lifeguard had to jump in the pool to rescue a sinking Japanese swimmer, this made the lifeguard a bit of a celebrity as he went round high-fiving all the officials (Richard and Robert you would have been proud of him).
Onto the serious swimming..... The GB mens 4x 50m Freestyle stormed through to qualify for the Final this afternoon. We are hoping that the Australian team will be disqualified as their final swimmer "rode" the lane rope when he had finished but other swimmers were still swimming the race. (or as one of our supporter's put it - "Getting his leg over" - you see, it is not just a simple matter of swimming up and down. These rules are quite complex.
Ladies 4x 50m Medley Relay next with Joanne swimming the Breast stroke leg..... WHAT A GIRL!!....- she redeemed herself as she matched her PB time (so she obviously saving herself for the race that she could conceivably win a medal) The team came 2nd in their heat and now qualify for the final this afternoon.
The scores on the Paramedic-ometer to date Australia 6, Japan 2, Venezuela 1
Maybe an update later- depends on whether the Canadian lead us a stray.
Up a little too early for breakfast so before we head to the pool to do the "German Towel trick" and secure the GB supporters corner so thought we would start today's blog.
We had a brilliant evening last night with two from the Canadian Supporter's team as we indoctrinated them into the great British tradition of "we are going for a swift one down the local"...... and they had such a good time they are going to invite others from their group down tonight.
Latest update on "Wifey" is that it is not his wife he is shouting across the room at but an attractive member of the South African lot who he has identified as a future wife. Still haven't tried it out on Chris yet.... maybe on the last day?????
It.s like June in Huddersfield here in sunny Loano we have been walking around in short sleeve shirts and even some of the locals have shed their coats, warm enough for some of them to have a dip in the sea.
The Canadian supporters have gone off to Monte Carlo. Chris isn't too enamoured as one of the Canadians keeps shouting across the dining room "Wifey bring me a coffee" - I have yet to try that one out on Chris????? (That could be interesting how that goes down)
Some of the Brits supporters have gone off down some caves but we thought a leisurely day walking around Loanno sounded more attractive.
Gemma and the GB coaches and carers are doing a fantastic job - don't know where they get their energy from, especially as they have "signed the pledge" and nothing beats a nice cold beer after a day at the pool. All the swimmers look really happy and are thoroughly enjoying the experience and the coaches should be congratulated on creating such a great atmosphere.
CONVERSATIONS WITH JO
US: "What did you have for lunch"
JO: "Fish... and green beans" (sounded good so far, nice and healthy)...... "and two meats..... and salad......" "and grapes"
JO: "The boys have lost their room key"
US: "Oh dear, did they find it?
JO: "Yes, in someone's bra" ................ decided not to take the conversation any further.
Drama at the swimming pool resumes tomorow.
What a lovely afternoon seeing both Ben and Jo receiving their medals. Jo was up on the podium with the girls relay team and very happy to be there, although the x-factor news that Ryland had been eliminated came a close second for her!
Ben's blag is that he has now won more medals than Michael Phelps! ... Fact ..... He took on 5 other swimmers in the mosaic 100IM final, to a Gold medal and more fantastically, a new World Record. Fabulous!!!
Whilst the Australian anthem is probably the most played we are getting quite a few National Anthem moments. Lovely!
Only two Australian faintings requiring paramedics this afternoon.
On the 25m flag putting up and down fiasco, this afternoon they got in a right old tangle, requiring 5 Italians and a 10 minute stoppage whilst they sorted them out. The flags have remained in position throught the rest of the competition. Let's hope that's where they stay.
"Rest" day tomorrow. The team are going to Genoa on the train to visit an aquarium and the harbour. We are going to have proper rest day... possibly blog tomorrow.
The PROTEST of the day came from a Group of Italian supporters who delayed the start of a race by chanting MARIA ... etc (it was in Italian so we couldn't understand!) who was withdrawn from a race on the instructions of her doctor which the supporters thought was grossly unfair even though she has been diagnosed with gastroenteritis??????
The difficult DECISION was when to go to the toilet as we had GB swimmers in nealy every race.
MEDALS galore won but not yet presented: Joanne came 2nd in her 50 Backstroke with a PB of 58.46 seconds and shaving nearly 2 seconds off her time. She also then swam in the 4 x 25 metre relay to bring home a Silver medal for the GB girls team.
Ben came 3rd in his 100IM with a PB time and securing a place in the mosaic final this evening. He also came 3rd in the 200 backstroke which we think secures another Gold medal.
We are awaiting results on the boys 4 x 100m medley which Ben swam in this morning and in which the team came 3rd.
It's hard work, breakfast at 7.30, down to pool for 8.15 - 2pm, lunch then update blog, it is now 3pm and we setting off back to the pool till 7pm (hoping that the event doesn't run over again)!).
Swimmers in need of medical attention today so far - Japan 1, Australia 1.
Further update to follow as the drama unfolds...
A dramatic evening at the pool where GB registered a protest as one of our swimmers was denied a place in the final which created some emotional discussions at the dinner table last night - it,s not boring over here!!! There seems to be a problem in the Australian camp as they seem to have to call a medic after every race. Certainly one, if not , two, have been taken to hospital.
Ben wins his gold in the 50m butterfly in a Final Race, and a silver in his 100m backstroke. Think we have a problem with the weight allowance on the flight home if he continues to win medals at this rate!!!
GB won a dramatic gold medal in the 100 breastroke with Oliver Pratley with another unbelievable time providing us with yet another opportunity to bang out the National Anthem again.
Joanne is in good spirits and enjoying the experience.
Unbelievably we have had 142 different visitors to the website.......who are you?????