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Simmonds closes in on fourth medal

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8th September 2012

Ellie Simmonds closed in on her fourth medal of London 2012 as she qualified second fastest for the S6 100m Freestyle final on the last day in the pool at the Paralympic Games.

The 17-year old, who has scooped two golds and a bronze in London, won her heat in a season’s best 1:16.68 to progress.

I’m quite pleased because I didn’t have a very good lead-up to this one.

Simmonds is world champion and defending Paralympic champion in the 100m Free but was ranked second coming into the Games behind USA’s Victoria Arlen who equalled her world record 1:14.74 to lead qualifiers.

But the Brit insisted she had achieved what she had wanted to in London, whatever the result tonight.

“I’m quite pleased because I didn’t have a very good lead-up to this one,” said Simmonds.

“I only had four hours sleep last night and I’ve been quite emotional but I’m going to try and enjoy the last session tonight.

“It’s going to be a really tough race. Victoria just went bang on the world record this morning but I’m just going to go out there and enjoy myself”

Natalie Jones joined Simmonds in reaching the S6 100m Free final as she finished second in her heat and eighth overall in 1:22.74.

World champion Harriet Lee broke her own British record to qualify third fastest in her favourite SB9 100m Breaststroke.

The Paralympic newcomer set a world record 36.74 at the turn before coming back to touch in 1:19.44, behind Ukraine’s Khrystyna Yurchenko (1:18.61) and New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe (1:19.28).

Louise Watkin was also in the SB9 100m Breaststroke heats but, competing in her fourth individual event in as many days, missed out on the final as she finished 10th in 1:25.48.

Jack Bridge sliced more than two seconds off his own British record to reach his first career Paralympic final in the SB9 100m Breaststroke.

Competing at his first Games, the 18-year old recorded a 1:10.01 effort, touching second in his heat and progressing fourth overall.

Bridge was in action again at the end of the session as he helped the men’s 34pt 4x100m Medley Relay quartet qualify for tonight’s final.

The British team of Jonathan Fox (S7), Bridge (SB9), James Hollis (S10) and Thomas Young (S8) set a British record 4:22.79 as they won their heat to progress fastest and secure lane four for the final event of the Games.

Anthony Stephens also qualified fourth fastest after a season’s best in the S5 100m Freestyle.

The five-time Paralympic medallist finished second in his heat in 1:19.05 to secure his third final berth of the Games.

Finally, Matt Whorwood clocked his fastest time since 2010 as he qualified seventh fastest for the S6 100m Freestyle final in 1:11.47.

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