Brits sign off from Eindhoven on a high
The British Disability Swimming Team, powered by British Gas, concluded their IPC Swimming World Championship campaign with a total of 16 gold medals after Daniel Pepper added to the impressive medal tally on the final evening.
The Team, powered by British Gas, have seen a number of strong performances throughout the week including Eleanor Simmonds winning four gold medals, Sascha Kindred continuing his unbeaten run in the 200m Individual Medley and Pepper adding gold to the title he won in the 100m Breaststroke.
Pepper was joined by nine other medallists including Paralympic Champion Sascha Kindred and Paralympian James Crisp on the last day of competition in Eindhoven.
Pepper went into the final of the S14 200m Freestyle ranked in second place and he took to the final hungry to add to his medal success. He got off to a good start but turned after the first 50m in third and then dropped to fourth place at the half way point.
It his was his second half speed that allowed him to pull the race back and at the last turn he lay in second place. He put in a powerful final 50m and overtook the field to win in a time of 2:02.18.
“That gold was quite unexpected,” Pepper said. “I didn’t think this morning that I would win that race but I put my head down and have come away with gold. I just knew I had to focus and if I did then I would have success.
“I am really happy with the way this week has gone. I think it has been so good and my races went to plan.”
Australia’s Daniel Fox won the silver in a time of 2:03.61 and the bronze went to Ben Procter in 2:03.65.
The men’s S6 50m Butterfly saw World Champion Sascha Kindred add silver to his 200m IM title after touching a new European record time of 32.26.
“I had a bad finish to that race,” Kindred said. “I just glided in but I still claimed silver. I got a European record so it was nice to end on. It has been such a good week and it is brilliant being part of this team.”
Paralympian James Crisp won silver in the men’s S9 100m Backstroke with a strong swim to announce his return from injury.
Crisp was challenging for gold throughout the race but Matthew Cowdrey had too much in the tank on the finish and the Australian won gold in a new world record time of 1:01.85. The Brit touched in 1:03.52 to take his medal.
“I really wanted a PB in that race,” Crisp said. “You always go into races wanting a PB and the gold but after the year I have had I am happy to have come away with the silver medal. I am always thinking of how to improve my Backstroke and I think I can come back stronger after this performance.”
The women’s S9 100m Backstroke saw Stephanie Millward take on the impressive Natalie Du Toit and battle for a medal.
Millward turned in first place but Du Toit had too much in the tank for Millward as she overtook her and the Brit took silver in 1:10.31.
“It is a disappointment for me to win the silver,” Millward said. “I thought I would have been able to get that and I thought that I would have had enough in me to succeed in this final. It did break my heart to get silver. I train so hard and I thought I had it but it wasn’t to be.”
The women’s 34 point 4x100m Medley relay was the last race of the evening and the team, which featured Stephanie Millward, Harriet Lee, Claire Cashmore and Eleanor Simmonds, won the silver just behind the American team.
The swimmers looked strong and in a good position throughout the race but the American team surprised the race as an outside smoker and they stole victory with a time of 5:00.68.
The Brits won the silver in a time of 5:00.93.
Matthew Walker won silver in the men’s S7 50m Butterfly in a new personal best time of 32.00 to end his week on a high.
Natalie Massey, who is making her World Championships debut, secured bronze in the women’s S14 200m Freestyle.
Massey swam well to come back from fifth place to win bronze and she touched in time of 2:17.81. Chloe Selman secured a time of 2:26.42 as she finished in seventh place.
James Anderson won his third medal of the competition in the men’s S2 100m Freestyle after touching in third place in the final. He touched in a time of 2:29.02.
World Champion Rhiannon Henry finished off her World Championships with bronze in the women’s S13 100m Freestyle after touching the wall in a time of 1:01.13.
National Performance Director John Atkinson has been pleased with the way his team have performed throughout the week.
“There have been many pleasing aspects of the week for me,” Atkinson said. “We saw 12 individuals win individual golds which shows the depth of talent that we have in the team.
“There were a number of really notable performances from swimmers including Eleanor Simmonds and her four gold medals and Daniel Pepper who backed up his victory in the 100m Breaststroke with gold in the 200m Freestyle this evening.
“This has been a great and professional team and one of the best that I have seen or worked with.”