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Frederiksen and Russell light up day six heats

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4th September 2012

Heather Frederiksen and Hannah Russell starred in the heat session on day six of the London 2012 Paralympic Games as they qualified fastest for their respective finals.

Defending champion Frederiksen dominated the S8 100m Backstroke heats to cruise through and seal lane four.

I'm going to get out there again tonight, put myself in the mix and give it a right good go

The world record holder was out to make an impression and clocked a season’s best 1:17.63 to progress, qualifying more than four second faster than the rest of the field.

And while she has already won S8 400m Freestyle silver already in the Games, Frederiksen admitted she was targeting the 100m Backstroke to make an impression.

“Coming in to this competition, the 100 Backstroke is my main event and I’ve got that gold medal from Beijing in it,” said Frederiksen.

“But at the end of the day, I got in there and gave it a go and I’m pleased to be going in there ranked number one tonight.

“I’m going to get out there again tonight, put myself in the mix and give it a right good go.”

Hannah Russell reached her third final of the Games as fastest qualifier after winning her S12 100m Freestyle heat.

The final is where everyone steps there game up so that’s what I’ll need to do as well.

The 16-year old, who has already won individual silver and bronze on her Paralympic debut, touched in 1:02.22 to lead qualifiers with defending champion Oxana Savchenko second fastest in 1:02.36.

But with Russell’s British record standing at 1:00.88 and Savchenko’s world record at 59.38, the Brit admitted she expected the final to be much quicker.

“I’m really pleased with that heat swim,” said Russell. “I always swim my own swim because I can’t see anyone around me and hopefully I can give it a bit more going into tonight.

“The heats don’t really mean anything. The final is where everyone steps there game up so that’s what I’ll need to do as well.

“If I do, hopefully I’ll have a chance to get a medal but the only aim for me in the race is to get a PB and maybe go under the minute mark tonight.”

Steph Millward lead a trio of Brits into the S9 400m Freestyle final as she qualified second fastest.

Natalie went out really hard this morning but maybe if I’m racing hard I’ll go a bit faster - we shall see.

The world silver medallist, who won S9 100m Backstroke silver earlier in the Games, set a season’s best 4:46.00 to win her heat and qualify behind South Africa’s Natalie Du Toit (4:32.59).

Millward will be joined by 14-year old Amy Marren who set a personal best 4:53.04 to qualify fourth fastest, and Lauren Steadman who clocked a season’s best 4:56.23 to progress in seventh.

“I’m feeling quite confident,” said Millward. “I think I’ve definitely got a chance of a medal tonight so that’s good enough to be.

“I think gold will be really difficult – Natalie went out really hard this morning but maybe if I’m racing hard I’ll go a bit faster – we shall see.”

Matt Walker qualified second fastest for the S7 50m Freestyle final as Jonathan Fox and Josef Craig also made it through for ParalympicsGB.

World and European champion Walker won his heat in 28.59 to progress with USA’s defending bronze medallist Lantz Lamback leading the field in 28.29.

Paralympic 100m Backstroke champion Fox (29.38) and 15-year old newcomer Craig (29.48) both set personal bests as they qualified sixth and seventh fastest respectively.

Susie Rodgers followed up her two bronze medals from last night by reaching the S7 50m Freestyle final.

Rodgers scooped medals in the S7 100m Freestyle and 34pt 4x100m Freestyle Relay on day five but had enough in the tank to qualify fifth fastest for her fifth final of her debut Games in 34.74.

Oliver Hynd, Thomas Young and Sean Fraser all progressed to the S8 100m Backstroke final.

Hynd was the quickest of the trio, the European bronze medallist clocking a season’s best 1:08.59 to qualify third fastest overall.

World bronze medallist Young (1:09.54) and defending Paralympic bronze medallist Fraser (1:10.02) weren’t far behind as they progressed fourth and fifth fastest respectively.

Ellie Simmonds made her third final of the Games, progressing fourth fastest with a season’s best in the S6 50m Freestyle.

It’s going to be really tough to medal so I’ll just go out there and hope for a PB.

The 17-year old, who won her second gold of London 2012 in the SM6 200m Individual Medley, finished second in her heat in 36.45 – the second fastest time of her career.

And while she is world champion for the event, Simmonds insisted the 50m Freestyle was always going to be the weakest of her four events at the Games.

“It’s going to be a tough race,” said Simmonds. “The 50m is my fourth best event but it helps me develop for the 100m Free for later on in the week.

“I’m really aching from my 200m IM last night which was a bit of a killer.

“But I’m really happy to do that time and be so close to my PB the way I’m feeling.

“It’s going to be really tough to medal so I’ll just go out there and hope for a PB.”

Defending bronze medallist Natalie Jones also set a season’s best in the heats but her effort of 38.74 narrowly missed out on a final berth as she finished 10th.

Sascha Kindred and Matt Whorwood also missed out on the men’s S6 50m Freestyle final as they finished 10th and 13th respectively.

Kindred, who lifted SM6 200m Individual Medley silver last night, came home in 33.36 while Whorwood clocked a season’s best 33.91.

James Clegg made his second final of the Games with a British record in the heats of the S12 100m Freestyle.

The 18-year old won a surprise bronze in the S12 100m Butterfly earlier in the Games and backed it up with his performance in the Free, slicing more than second off his British marker as he progressed seventh fastest in 56.05.

James Crisp squeezed into the S9 400m Freestyle final with a season’s best 4:26.03.

The former world champion lead his heat throughout the opening 250m before fading slightly off the pace of the leaders to touch in 4:26.03.

Paralympic newcomers James Hollis and Jack Bridge both set personal bests in the S10 100m Backstroke heats.

The 18-year olds impressed from outside lanes as Hollis moved to within a second of Jody Cundy’s British record with his effort of 1:06.40 while Bridge knocked a second off his marker in 1:09.38.

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