It's been a few years since any Hungarians took the podium in the European Championships. Not since 2004 and 2001 have Hungary stepped onto the podium and even then it was only to receive silver and bronze respectively and, barring a freak of nature or a catastrophic team 'cock-up', that elusive gold medal will finally be dangling from some very happy Magyars come Sunday afternoon.

The manner of their first day victory was clear and decisive. Even under the old system of section points, they would have still been head and shoulders above all the rest. Three section wins and two seconds is quite an achievement when you consider that England were running clear favourites after a successful weeks practice and they finished in 4th place, 16.5 points off the lead. It will take some divine act of providence, or god, to turn things around for Mark Downes' team.

Can they come back, yet again?
As the results clearly show, England did not have a good day at the office, even so, realistically there are still two prestigious medals up for grabs, not too mention the chance of some individual glory with Steve Hemingray, who produced a great result from the first part of C section to secure 1 point. However, the new section restructures do look as though Gold will require a perfect two day score, unlike the old system. There are now TEN possible medal winners on 1 point each, so weight will almost certainly play a deciding factor.

There are several stories to come next week which delve a little more deeply into the ups-an-downs of several teams, including England, yet we hope that they can salvage something again from the ashes of a first day nightmare. After all, we have come to expect it! We'll also try to elaborate on some of the tactics used for the species swimming in this fantastic venue.

With Alan Scotthorne taking on the mantle of second day runner, after becoming the teams lowest scorer... just, Darren Cox now takes centre stage as England try to redeem some semblance of silverware, which will not be easy. This new points system has tightened up the rankings. Just 6.5 points separate third place Italy from tenth place Portugal.

Home nation Slovenia dispelled any doubts of being overrun by the more powerful nations with an excellent display in their own backyard, just half a point off England in 5th place. They'll have their 'tails' up on the final day I bet!

Still to come
This brief outline is just a fore taste of what we have coming-up over the next couple of weeks, which I'm sure will not disappoint any of our members. We'll have the OFFICIAL final days results for download as soon as we can 'hook-up' a connection on the bank tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully the news will be good for England.