Watkin wins first gold in London
5 March 2012
World champion Louise Watkin secured her first gold medal of the British Gas Swimming Championships after she swam close to her personal best in the women’s 50m Freestyle.
Watkin (S9) showed her natural power as she swam close to her British record and she secured her gold medal with a time of 29.30 and a total of 974 points, ducking under the Paralympic qualification time in the process.
It's the fastest I've been since the World Championships in 2010 so it's great just knowing I'm finally back at that level - Louise Watkin
“It's an unbelievable feeling,” Watkin said. “I've been waiting for it as well - I did the backstroke yesterday and the heats this morning and neither of them went to plan and I really wanted it tonight so I'm really pleased.
“That race gives me so much confidence now for the season. It's the fastest I've been since World Championships in 2010 so just knowing that finally I'm back up at that level is great.”
The silver medal went to Watkin’s City of Salford club mate Heather Frederiksen (S8) who finished in a time of 32.12 which gave her a total of 917 points and saw her make the Paralympic qualification time for the third time in as many events.
Stephanie Millward (S9) won the bronze in 30.10 with 898 points.
World champion Matt Walker swam to victory in the men’s 50m Freestyle showing his power through the length of the pool.
Walker (S7) swam an excellently timed race to retain his title with a total of 928 after touching in 28.37.
“It was a great swim, close to my personal best,” said Walker, who went under the S7 Paralympic qualification time with his effort.
“It’s been a topsy turvy year so far and I gave it the best I could.”
Sean Fraser (S8) won the silver in a time of 28.36 with a total of 811 points. The bronze went to Jonathan Fox (S7) with a total of 804 in 29.76.