Simmonds on song with MC 400m Freestyle gold
3 March 2012
Eleanor Simmonds impressed on the first day of the British Gas Swimming Championships in the 400m freestyle Multi Classification final, winning with 1005 points to take the gold in 5.27.09.
The multiple international gold medallist is looking to book her slot on the ParalympicsGB team later in the year.
“I’m really happy with the gold medal,” said Simmonds. “The swim was really good although it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, I am happy with it.
“It was the first time racing in this pool, which is great practice. I’ve got the qualification time now as well so hopefully I’ll be going to the Paralympics.
"I knew I could hit the qualification time quite easily but you always have that bit of pressure and worry in the back of your head. You never know what is going to happen.”
Hannah Russell, the British record holder for the S12 category, took silver in a new personal best time of 4.46.76 with 905 points.
In third place was Heather Frederiksen with a score of 849 and time of 5.01.69.
Jessica-Jane Applegate stated her Paralympic intentions to the selectors tonight, posting a new personal best to win the 200m MC final.
I felt a bit like jelly on the blocks but I knew I had to do it now. This was the chance to impress - Jessica-Jane Applegate
Applegate (S14) posted a time of 2.14.71 to win with a points tally of 996 to take first place and the gold medal.
“I feel like a champion right now,” said Applegate. “It's great. I wanted to go out strong. I felt a bit like jelly on the blocks but I knew I had to do it now. This was the chance to impress and I did.
“Since I joined Norwich, they've really helped me improve.
“It was a bit scary having Natalie Massey in the lane next to me because I know she's gone faster than me but I told myself I had to take this chance.”
Natalie Massey (S14), who trains at the High Performance Centre in Manchester, was also in fine form to finish in second place, with a points tally of 960 and a time of 2.16.38.
Chloe Davies (S14) was third in 2.17.86 and 929 points, a new personal best to put her in the mix for medals.
European champion Pepper was first to the wall with an excellent swim and touched in a time of 2:02.73 and scored a total of 969.
“I'm pleased, I would've liked to go a little bit quicker but I've been focusing on my breaststroke and working hard to improve that recently so just to get in and swim that time in the 200m Free off the back of not much pacing work is a great achievement for me,” said Pepper.
“Ben's a great friend as well as a great competitor and he always tends to go out faster than me in the heats but at the end of the race I managed to get the touch tonight so I'm really pleased.
“The atmosphere in the pool was great tonight. I really love it. Obviously from tonight's results we've seen it's fast water and a nice depth and temperature. It's a nice environment to swim in which is great.”
His club mate Procter took silver with a score of 958 after touching in 2.03.21. And Craig Rodgie was third with 948 points in a time of 2.03.63.
Jonathan Fox took the title in the last final of the night, the 400m Freestyle MC.
I thought nothing could beat the Water Cube but I've come here and there's something special about it which has taken it to a whole new level - Jon Fox
The world record holder was just outside his personal best to win with 4.47.46 and 999 points to put him in the running for a spot at the London Paralympics.
“It was a really good start,” he said. “In the heat, I was just looking to qualify. I might have given the world record a shot but I was just concentrating on getting the qualification time. Then in the final I really went for that world record. You can't do it all the time but I'm really happy with how the day has gone.
“I think the venue is fantastic, I've been blown away.
“I competed at Beijing Paralympics what seems like a long, long time ago now and I thought nothing could be the Water Cube but I've come here and there's something special about it which has taken it to a whole new level.”
Oliver Hynd took second place, shaving nearly two seconds off his personal best to win the silver medal in 4.28.62 and a points total of 972.
He edged out his older brother Sam who finished in third place with 953 points and a time of 4.30.52.