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Hynd completes set with 200m IM gold

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5th September 2012

Oliver Hynd completed his set of medals on his Paralympic debut with gold in the SM8 200m Individual Medley on day seven of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The 17-year old had already lifted 400m Freestyle silver and 100m Backstroke bronze but rose to the top spot of the podium with a dominant performance in his main event.

That went really well - it was everything I dreamed it could be.

Having qualified second fastest, the European champion looked the man to beat throughout, turning second after 100m before taking over in the breaststroke leg.

And after beating his own European record to finish a body length clear in 2:24.63, Hynd admitted he couldn’t have hoped for a better final.

“That went really well – it was everything I dreamed it could be so I’m really happy,” said Hynd.

“I’ve worked a lot on my breaststroke so I’m really pleased I was able to hold my own on that stroke.

“The noise gave me a hint that I’d won but I wanted to see it to believe it so I turned and saw the one next to my name and that’s when I knew I’d done it.”

Oliver’s brother Sam Hynd was also in action in the SM8 200m Individual Medley, defending his bronze medal from the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

And while Sam set a season’s best 2:28.03, he was always playing catch-up in the second 100m and couldn’t quite reel in the Netherland’s bronze medallist Maurice Deelen (2:27.17).

Louise Watkin equalled her British record as she scored silver in her first individual event of the Games.

I got bronze in Beijing so to move up to silver here it feels unreal.

The four-time Paralympic medallist from Beijing had qualified fastest for the final and touched in 29.21 for her medal behind China's Lin Ping (29.12).

"I got bronze in Beijing so to move up to silver here it feels unreal," said Watkin.

"I put everything from this morning aside because I knew I had to focus on tonight and I'm just so happy with that result.

"It's such a short race, you don't have any time to make an error so to equal my best is really good as well and something I haven't done for a long time."

Charlotte Henshaw and Liz Johnson both made the podium with silver and bronze in the SB6 100m Breaststroke.

There were four of us there who could have made that podium so I’m just so happy to have won that medal – it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

European record holder Henshaw had qualified fastest and emerged as the main contender for gold as she swam neck and neck with 14-year old Ukrainian sensation Viktoriia Savtsova down the back 50m.

The Ukranian took the touch in a desperate lunge for the wall but having finished fourth on her Paralympic debut in Beijing, Henshaw insisted she could not begrudge coming 0.03 behind Savtsova for silver in 1:39.16 – the second fastest time of her career.

“Right now I a so happy,” said Henshaw. “Maybe in a couple of days when I look back at it I’ll see this, that or the other where I could have got that 0.03 back.

“But I can’t express how happy I am to win a medal at home. I was just desperate not to finish fourth like last time.

“There were four of us there who could have made that podium so I’m just so happy to have won that medal – it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”

Defending Paralympic champion Johnson also clocked a season’s best as she came home third in 1:40.90.

I’m definitely glad I got a medal in front of a home crowd.

And having now won a medal at three consecutive Paralympics, the 26-year old insisted it was a relief to have reached the podium after struggling to find her best form earlier in the season.

“I’m definitely glad I got a medal in front of a home crowd,” said Johnson.

“This morning was quite easy and I thought I had more tonight. I honestly don’t know why it didn’t happen.

“But I guess after the trials where I didn’t even qualify, I’m lucky that John (Atkinson, GB Performance Director) had the faith in Charlotte and I and hopefully we’ve repaid him with these medals.”

Rob Welbourn won the fifth Paralympic medal of his career with bronze in the S10 400m Freestyle.

I said this morning it was going to be a tough final and it definitely was so I’m really happy to come away with a medal.

The European champion dictated the pace in the early stages, pushing the leaders to an opening 200m of 2:01.54 before turning first at the 250m turn.

And while USA’s Ian Silverman (4:04.91) and Canada’s Benoit Huot (4:06.58) pulled away in the final 50m to claim gold and silver, Welbourn came safely home for bronze in 4:08.18 – the third fastest time of his career and the fastest since his European record in 2010.

“I’m really pleased with that,” said Welbourn, who has now won an S10 400m Freestyle medal at the past three consecutive Paralympics Games.

“I said this morning it was going to be a tough final and it definitely was so I’m really happy to come away with a medal.

“Normally I start off slow and build into it but I had a chat with my coach and he made me realise I needed to be in the race at the start. We know I’ve got a strong back end so we thought I’d be able to hang on better than the others if I took it out a little bit.”

Teenager Hannah Russell continued to impress on her Paralympic debut as she won her third medal of London 2012.

I’m really pleased – I know it wasn’t a PB swim but I’m still really happy with it.

The 16-year old set the second fastest time of her career as she clinched S12 100m Backstroke bronze in 1:10.15.

Both Russia’s Oxana Savchenko (1:07.99 – world record) and Azerbaijan’s Natali Pronina (1:09.46) ducked under Russell’s British record 1:09.52.

And the Brit, who had already lifted silver in the 400m Freestyle and bronze in the 100m Butterfly, admitted she was expecting both swimmers to hit top gear in the final.

“I’m really pleased – I know it wasn’t a PB swim but I’m still really happy with it,” said Russell.

“I knew my rivals have a lot of experience and could easily go a lot faster in the final and I was prepared for that.

“Overall I think it’s been an amazing experience. It really is a dream come true for me to be here so to get medals on top is a bonus.”

Competing at his sixth Paralympic Games, James Anderson finished fourth in the S2 50m Backstroke.

The 17-time Paralympic medallist had set a season’s best 1:07.17 to qualify third fastest for the final and while he stayed on a similar pace, his 1:07.30 was beaten to the wall by Russia’s Dmitrii Kokarev (1:05.70) in third.

James O’Shea was just 0.45 seconds off the podium as he finished fourth in the SB5 100m Breaststroke.

The 34-year old has only been swimming competitively for two years but has shown marked improvement this season and clocked the third fastest time of his career on his Paralympic debut, touching in 1:38.30.

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