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Hynd takes step towards title defence

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31st August 2012

Paralympic champion Sam Hynd took a step closer to defending his S8 400m Freestyle title as he qualified fastest from the morning heats on day two of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Competing in the first race of the morning session, the world record holder put in an emphatic performance, touching more than four seconds clear of the field to win in 4:33.25.

It was my first event and my main event so I’m really glad the heat is done now.

And Hynd – who won the European title in 2009 and 2011 – admitted he was relieved to have laid down a marker with his first swim of the meet.

“It was my first event and my main event so I’m really glad the heat is done now,” said Hynd.

“I’m pleased with how it went and I feel all the pressure is off after that.

“I like going in the first heat – you can set the time and everyone has to follow you. That’s the aim of the game, to be at the front so that’s how I like to do it.”

Hynd will be flanked by two teammates in the final as world champion Thomas Young qualified second fastest in 4:34.16 with Hynd’s younger brother Oliver, silver medallist from last year’s Europeans, third in 4:36.40.

Going into it, all three of us are looking good so it should be a good race.

Young's heat swim was the first of an exhausting schedule in which he takes on six individual events on his Paralympic debut.

But having set a three second season’s best to win his heat, the 21-year old admitted it was an encouraging start to his campaign.

“I wanted to go in and see what I’ve got and I feel like I’ve got quite a lot left in the tank for that final swim tonight,” said Young.

“It could be a one, two, three for us tonight. Going into it, all three of us are looking good so it should be a good race.”

Heather Frederiksen will defend her silver medal in the women’s S8 400m Freestyle final after qualifying second fastest.

I’ve had a really rough 12 months with illness so I wanted to leave enough in the tank for tonight.

The European champion dominated her heat to clock a season’s best 4:58.29, only bettered by USA’s Jessica Long who clocked a Paralympic record 4:44.52.

But Frederiksen insisted she had enough in reserve to better her heat swim in the final.

“I wanted to swim comfortably and get through to the final tonight,” said Frederiksen.

“I’ve had a really rough 12 months with illness so I wanted to leave enough in the tank for tonight.

“My best time is 4:45 but I’m really pleased with that heat swim and it’s really positive for tonight.”

Charlotte Henshaw also clocked a season’s best in the heats, finishing 12th overall in 5:42.19 while Emma Hollis - who has brittle bones - competed through the pain of a fractured foot as she came 14th in 6:02.84.

Chloe Davies made an immediate impact in the first Paralympic race of her career as she qualified fastest in the S14 100m Backstroke.

I was very nervous going into my race but I heard the home crowd behind me so I just went for it.

The 13-year old, who is the youngest member of the ParalympicsGB swimming team, set a British record 1:09.22 to lead qualifiers to tonight’s final.

“I was very nervous going into my race but I heard the home crowd behind me so I just went for it,” said Davies.

“I wasn’t really concentrating on the crowd. I was focusing my mind and swam my own race.”

Jessica-Jane Applegate also ducked under the old British record as she won her heat in a personal best 1:10.32 to qualify third fastest while Natalie Massey set-up the second final with three British competitors as she qualified seventh in a season’s best 1:11.89.

Former Paralympic champion James Crisp set a season’s best to qualify second fastest from the men’s S9 100m Backstroke heats.

The European champion, who lifted Paralympic gold in 2000 as well as silver in 2004, came home in 1:04.01 to make the final.

Crisp will be joined in the final by 16-year old Morgyn Peters who impressed in the first Paralympic race of his career to progress fourth overall in 1:05.12.

Stephanie Millward also qualified second fastest in the women’s’ S9 100m Backstroke.

The world silver medallist won her heat in 1:10.81 to secure her place in the final while 14-year old Amy Marren also progressed on her Paralympic debut, qualifying fifth fastest with a personal best 1:14.21.

Susie Rodgers and Matt Walker made smooth progress from the women’s and men’s S7 50m Butterfly heats respectively.

European champion Rodgers won her heat in 37.45 to qualify third fastest for tonight’s final while Walker progressed sixth fastest after a season’s best 33.06.

Aaron Moores smashed his own British record to qualify third fastest in the S14 100m Backstroke.

Competing in the first Paralympic race of his career, the 18-year old came home in 1:04.80 to touch second in his heat and progress.

Ben Procter set a season’s best 1:06.01 to progress seventh fastest for the final while Craig Rodgie just missed out as he finished 12th overall in 1:07.03.

Finally, Harriet Lee and Graham Edmunds finished both finished 10th in the women’s and men’s S10 50m Freestyle respectively.

Having clocked a personal best in day one’s SM10 200m Individual Medley, Lee repeated the feat over the one-length splash and dash, touching fourth in her heat in 29.97.

Meanwhile, Edmunds was just 0.18 shy of his four-year old British record as he clocked a season’s best 25.28 to touch third in his heat.

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