Watkin sets sights on fourth medal
7th September 2012
Louise Watkin set her sights on a fourth medal of London 2012 after winning her heat to progress third fastest into the S9 100m Freestyle final.
South Africa’s defending champion Natalie Du Toit (1:02.95) qualified fastest for what will be the last Paralympic race of her career.
I just wanted to get into the final and get a lane - now let's see what I can do tonight.
But defending silver medallist Watkin will be right next to her in lane three after clocking a season’s best 1:04.63.
“That was a strong swim,” said Watkin who has won medals in all three finals she has contested at this Games.
“I just wanted to get into the final and get a lane. Now I’ve done that, let’s see what I can do tonight.
“I looked at the program before I came and my races were all at the back end of it but that’s just how they fell so I’ll just keep going.”
Lauren Steadman joined Watkin in the final after clocking a personal best 1:05.98 to reach her second final of the Games.
The 19-year old knocked 0.06 seconds off her previous best from this year’s British International to finish fourth in her heat and eighth overall.
Claire Cashmore narrowly missed out on her fourth individual final as she finished ninth in 1:06.81.
Andrew Mullen set his third British record of the Games as he qualified fourth fastest for the S5 50m Butterfly final.
I swam pretty well and I’m pleased to go under 40 for the first time.
Having impressed to finish fourth in yesterday’s S5 50m Backstroke, the 15-year old ducked under his own British marker to finished second in his 50m Fly heat in 39.71.
“I swam pretty well and I’m pleased to go under 40 for the first time,” said Mullen.
“It’s been a fantastic experience. To swim the freestyle in the week and the back yesterday has given me a really good experience of what it’s like to swim in front of the crowd so I’m feeling really confident for the fly tonight.”
Hannah Russell reached her fifth final from five events on her Paralympic debut as she qualified fourth from the S12 50m Freestyle heats.
The 16-year old has been one of the breakthrough stars of the British team with silver and two bronzes in London and impressed again as she touched just 0.07 seconds shy of her British record in 28.32.
James Clegg also progressed to the final in the men’s S12 50m Freestyle as he broke the 11-year old British record in the heats.
Joint seventh is pretty cool so I’ll give it a go tonight and see what I can do.
Paralympic silver medallist Darren Leach had set the previous British marker of 25.88 in 2001 but Clegg touched in 25.52 – beating his own PB by 0.84 seconds – to finish third in his heat and equal seventh overall.
“Joint seventh is pretty cool so I’ll give it a go tonight and see what I can do,” said Clegg, who lifted S12 100m Butterfly bronze earlier in the Games.
“Coming into this I didn’t think I would make the final – I’m not very good at 50m Freestyle.
“I put all my eggs in my basket with the 100m Fly so I’m pleased that I’ve made both 50m and 100m Free finals.”
Sascha Kindred progressed sixth fastest to the S6 Butterfly final.
The Brit – who won bronze in this event at the last Paralympics in Beijing four years ago – touched home in 33.19 to finish fourth in his heat.
Rhiannon Henry was the final Brit to progress from the heats on day nine as she qualified fourth fastest in the SM13 200m Individual Medley.
The double European champion clocked 2:35.83 to progress to her third final of the Games.
James Anderson narrowly missed out on making a third final at his sixth Paralympic Games as he finished 10th in the S2 50m Freestyle heats.
The 17-time Paralympic medallist touched in 1:10.61 in his heat with USA’s Curtis Lovejoy (1:10.44) taking the final qualification spot in eighth.
Natalie Jones also finished 10th after a season’s best in the S6 50m Butterfly heats.
The British record holder, who won SM6 200m Individual Medley bronze earlier in the Games, touched in 41.97 with the eighth qualification spot going to Turkey’s Ozlem Baykiz in 41.05.
Finally, James Crisp finished 17th in the S9 100m Freestyle heats after a season’s best 1:00.76.