British Champs Ones To Watch: Para-Swimming

9th April 2014

While there are a fewer Para-Swimming events than usual at this year’s British Champs, the line-ups are as strong as ever with World, Paralympic and European champions in the field.

There are only six events this year, mirroring the Para-Swimming competitions at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but in three of the events, there will be reigning or former IPC World Champions taking part.

Oliver Hynd added the world title to his Paralympic and European golds in the SM8 200m Individual Medley last season and will be heavy favourite to win Commonwealth gold if he lines up in Glasgow.

Harriet Lee won the SB9 100m Breaststroke title in a breakthrough season four years ago and has since added Paralympic bronze and silver at last year's World Champs.

Meanwhile, Dan Pepper also won gold at the 2010 IPC World Championships in the S14 200m Freestyle and will be aiming to claim the Commonwealth title before he defends his European crown later this season.

Click the event from the drop down to read more about what to expect in Glasgow.

Women's S8 100m Freestyle

Open to S7 - S8.

Steph Slater (S8) enjoyed a highly-successful debut international season in 2013, setting European records in the 100m butterfly and SM8 200m individual medley. Slater beat Keira Shepherd to the title at the DSE National Short Course Championships in November, the latter’s first competition since being classified as an S8 swimmer.

Susie Rodgers (S7) has enjoyed a medal-laden career during which she has claimed Paralympic bronze in the 100m freestyle. She went one better last year with silver at the IPC World Championships in Montreal. The 30-year-old set a British record in her category in this event in 2011 which still stands.

Men’s S9 100m Freestyle

Open to S7 - S9.

S7 swimmer Josef Craig launched himself into the public eye with Paralympic victory in the 400m Freestyle less than two years ago in London. Since then he has maintained his success, winning double gold and a silver at last year’s IPC World Championships in Montreal, including the 100m Freestyle title.

He will find himself up against the experienced double Paralympian Sean Fraser (S8) as well as highly-rated youngster Matthew Wylie, Ryan West and Stefan Hoggan – all S9 swimmers.

Men's S14 200m Freestyle

Ben Procter is the holder of European and 2010 World bronze over four lengths. He was eighth at the London 2012 Paralympics and fifth in Montreal last summer.

Daniel Pepper is the S14 British record holder in this event and a consistent international performer, having won World gold in 2010 and European gold in 2011.

Jack Thomas may also present tough opposition.

Women's SB9 100m Breaststroke

Open to SB8 - SB9.

Harriet Lee has consistently claimed medals since being classified as an SB9 in January 2010. She went on to take IPC World Championship gold that year before an emotional bronze in London and then went one better as she set a new British record en-route to silver at her second IPC World Championships in 2013.

Claire Cashmore is the SB8 British record holder, a mark she set back in 2011. The Redditch-born swimmer won the silver medal in London in 2012, four years after claiming bronze in Beijing. Cashmore’s longevity is underlined by the fact she claimed silver at last year’s IPC World Championships, matching her result from her debut at the event seven years earlier.

Men's SM8 200m Individual Medley

Open to SM7 - SM8

Oliver Hynd is the Paralympic and IPC World champion in this event as well as the European record holder. It could be an emotional time for Hynd in Glasgow as it follows the retirement of his brother Sam in February.

He will be up against fellow SM8 swimmer Sean Fraser who is truly versatile, reaching the Paralympic finals in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.

Women's SM10 200m Individual Medley

Open to SM9 - SM10

A race that showcases a number of Paralympians. Amy Marren was a stand-out performer in 2013, securing four gold and two silver medals at the IPC World Championships. The SM9 swimmer also set a European record in the 200m individual medley, something she transferred into the short-course pool earlier in 2014.

Fellow SM9 swimmer Claire Cashmore won her first Paralympic medal in this event in 2004 and nine years later took bronze at the IPC World Championships in Montreal.

Steph Millward (SM9), who won two medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, was one place ahead of Cashmore in Canada and that is an intriguing tussle between two experienced athletes.

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