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British Gas team enjoy success in Rio

01 Dec 2009 21:11

The British Gas Disability Team claimed five world titles on the third day of the IPC Swimming World Championships (25m) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil .

The gold medals went to Eleanor Simmonds, the women’s 34 point relay team, Sascha Kindred, Sam Hynd and Rhiannon Henry. The team also won two silver and two bronze medals.

Double Paralympic Champion Eleanor Simmonds won her second title of the competition and lowered the world record in the women’s SM6 200m Individual Medley.

The British Gas Team secured all of the podium places after impressive performances from Simmonds, Natalie Jones and Elizabeth Johnson throughout the final.

Jones had the lead for much of the race but it was Simmonds that managed to sneak the touch ahead of Jones.

As the race entered the Freestyle leg Simmonds lay just behind Jones but with her speed she took the race with 15m to go.

Simmonds touched in 3:08.80 to not only take the gold but smash the world record by almost ten seconds.

“I am really happy with that,” Simmonds said. “It was a really tough race but I knew it would be after Iceland. I knew Natalie was going to push me all the way so I worked hard. It was really hard to get that medal.

“I knew that in the last 50m I had a chance to take her and I saw her in the last 50m and I just pushed it.”

Jones finished in a time of 3:09.88 to take the silver medal and Johnson won bronze in 3:17.47.

The women’s 4x100m Freestyle 34 point relay saw the British Gas Team smash the world record on their way to an impressive victory.

The team, which consisted of Stephanie Millward, Eleanor Simmonds, Lauren Stedman and Louise Watkin, put in a commanding performance through the race

The team touched home first to take the gold medal and lower the world record to 4:26.20.

“I think we all did a really fantastic job in that race tonight,” Steadman said. “We were all up against tough competitors in our legs. Steph did well to put us in the lead at the start and Eleanor held off competitors from higher classes than her.

“I wanted to get ahead before the takeover to give Louise an advantage and she did a great job to bring us home.'

The United States came in second place in a time of 4:35.61 and Australia won the bronze in 4:37.04.

Sascha Kindred added World Champion (25m) to his list of accolades after winning the men’s SM6 200m Individual Medley.

Kindred dominated his race and found himself with a ten second lead at the half way point of the race.

The British Gas swimmer touched in a time of 2:41.24 to claim the gold medal and narrowly beat the world record he broke at the DSE Championships.

“It is really good to be the first ever short course World Champion,” Kindred said. “However, I was slightly disappointed with the time because I swam that fast last weekend but I did dominate the race.

“I would have liked it if the Chinese team had been here because they are my closest rivals. It was like a time trial for me today and I felt it in that race.”

Anders Ollson (Sweden) won the silver in 2:54.73 and South African Tadhg Slattery won the bronze in 3:10.94.

Sam Hynd concluded his hat-trick of international honours when he became World Champion in the men’s S8 400m Freestyle.

The Paralympic and European Champion, Hynd swam his race excellently and as he left the blocks he looked strong in the water.

Peter Leek (Australia) was on the British Gas swimmer’s shoulder for the first 50m but Hynd’s skill showed through as he increased his pace and took the lead.

Hynd extended his lead to seven seconds and touched in first place in a time of 4:20.18 to lower his own world record.

“That was a lot better than yesterday,” Hynd said. “It felt really good out there tonight. I gave it everything I had and it went exactly as I wanted and to be World, European and Paralympic Champion is fantastic.

“The plan was to make sure I was strong and controlled and not rushed by the competition. I have a good back end to the race and I wanted to make sure I had enough for that tonight and it was great.'

The silver went to Leek in 4:27.24 and bronze was won by Christoph Burkard (Germany) in a time of 4:36.25.

Rhiannon Henry got the session of finals off to a good start with a gold and a British record in the women’s S13 100m Butterfly.

Henry swam a strong race and kept in touch of her rival Joanna Mendak but the Polish athlete moved away from Henry in the final 25m.

Henry touched in 1:06.12 to win her gold medal and knock almost a second off the British record. Prudence Watt took the silver in a time of 1:06.83 and bronze went to Teigan Van Roosmalen (Australia) won bronze in 1:08.64.

Kate Grey became a World medallist after winning silver in the women’s SB9 100m Breaststroke.

Grey looked strong throughout the race and touched in a time of 1:21.14 to take the medal and the British record.

Gold was won by Nina Ryabova (Russia) after touching in 1:21.00 and bronze went to Sophie Pascoe (New Zealand) in 1:21.16. Team-mate Louise Watkin finished in fourth in a time of 1:21.53.

The British Gas Team won bronze in the men’s 4x100m Freestyle 34 point relay in a time of 3:54.23.

The team featured Matthew Walker, Sam Hynd, David Hill and Graham Edmunds and they finished behind Australia and Brazil.

Australia touched in 3:46.38 to win gold and take the world record and Brazil finished in 3:48.63.

Matthew Walker finished in fifth place in the men’s S7 200m Individual Medley after touching in a time of 2:48.24.

Head Coach Lars Humer commented: “It was a really strong day of racing for the team today. Not only have we seen strong overall races we have seen real strength through the final 15m of the race.

“Short course racing is all about race skills and a lot of our athletes excelled in the last 15m of their races.

“The women’s relay was really good. We are building that team for the future and we have Eleanor [Simmonds] competing alongside older athletes which really anchors the team for the future.

“The men put in a good effort in the relay but we are missing David Roberts, that isn’t to take anything away from the guys that swam tonight because it was a good job.

“It was good to see Kate Grey get the silver and Rhiannon Henry has done a great job tonight. She has come back from the injury that stopped her competing in Reykjavik and won her race her.”

-ENDS-

For further details contact British Swimming Media Officer Gemma Field on 01509 632238, 07917 726431 or email gemma.field@swimming.org

About British Swimming
British Swimming is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain.  It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport. The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (ASA), Scotland (Scottish ASA) and Wales. (Welsh ASA)  British Swimming seeks to enable its athletes to achieve gold medal success at the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

About British Gas
British Gas is Britain's favourite domestic energy supplier. As well as providing gas and electricity, it also installs and maintains central heating and gas appliances in millions of homes throughout the country. British Gas is very proud to be the principal partner of British Swimming and home countries: The ASA, Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales. British Gas is supporting the team's quest for medals on the world and Olympic stage - and giving as many people as possible the opportunity to learn to swim and use swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle. British Gas wants to ensure local pools remain at the heart of our communities. By using its expertise, it can help them reduce costs by being more energy efficient and safeguard the facilities for this and future generations. For more information visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming

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