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Golden Simmonds brings curtain down on Paralympic Trials

8th April 2012

Double Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds led the way with gold on the final day of the Paralympic Trials at the British International Disability Championships in Sheffield.

The 17-year old stormed home to take the 400m Freestyle crown at Ponds Forge, touching in 5:33.34 for 950 points.

With the 2012 Paralympic nominations formally announced on Tuesday, Simmonds' form at the two trials bodes well, having achieved the qualification standard in all four events in which she is world champion - the 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle as well as the 200m Individual Medley.

British record holder Hannah Russell (S12) joined Simmonds on the 400m Freestyle podium, touching in 4:47.93 for 894 points after leading the race from gun to wall.

Having broken her own S7 European record in the heats, Susie Rodgers finished in 5:23.59 for 837 points while S10 swimmers Tully Kearney (4:55.05), Emma Cattle (4:58.75) and Rosie Bancroft (5:01.03) were sixth, seventh and eighth in the final.

Jonathan Fox took the honours in the men's 400m Freestyle as he led home a British 1-2-3 in spectacular style.

The S7 swimmer was just one second shy of his world record in the final as he clocked 4:48.16 to win with 992 points, adding to his 100m Backstroke gold from the opening day of competition.

S8 world record holder and Paralympic champion Sam Hynd claimed silver in 4:32.15 for 935 points while S7 teenager Josef Craig was less than 0.5 seconds short of the Paralympic qualification standard as he touched in 4:54.23 for 932 and bronze.

Rodgers won her first gold in the final event of the meet, breaking her S7 European record to win the 50m Butterfly final in 36.01.

Natalie Jones (S6) was the best of the rest, touching in 42.45 for silver while Jan Langton (S6) was seventh in 47.10.

British record holder Jessica-Jane Applegate lifted 200m Freestyle gold in one of the tightest races of the night.

The 15-year old was neck-and-neck with Ireland's Bethany Firth the entire race before pulling clear in the last 10m to win in 2:15.23.

Chloe Davies (S14), who had already secured the Paralympic qualification standard along with Applegate and Natalie Massey at the first trials, touched home in 2:18.76 to claim bronze.

Sascha Kindred scooped his third medal of the meet, adding to his 100m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley titles with silver in the 50m Butterfly.

The British record holder clocked 32.52 for 850 points to claim his prize while S7 duo Matt Walker (33.88) and Craig (35.81) finished sixth and ninth respectively.

S5 swimmer Andrew Mullen finished fifth in the B final but his British record heat time of 40.28 saw him duck under the Paralympic qualification standard for the first time.

Ben Procter picked up his second medal of the weekend with bronze in the 200m Freestyle.

Procter - who won 100m Freestyle gold on the second day in Sheffield - is the fastest of three S14 swimmers to have made the Paralympic qualification standard over 200m and was the quickest of the Brits again as he touched home in 2:03.95 for 941 points.

World and European champion Dan Pepper was fourth overall after touching in 2:05.40 while Craig Rodgie was sixth in 2:06.95.

Gemma Almond (S10) sliced more than a second off her PB to claim silver in the 100m Butterfly.

The Swansea Performance swimmer - who has sealed her Paralympic qualification standard in the 200m Individual Medley - touched home in 1:12.26 to smash the British record in the process.

Eleni Papodopoulos (S10) also beat her personal best, setting 1:13.04 for bronze while S9 British record holder Stephanie Millward (1:12.58) finished just outside the medals in fourth.

Nicole Lough (S14), Reagan Doig (S14) and Claire Cashmore (S9) also made the 100m Fly final, finishing sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

Finally, James Hollis became the first British S10 swimmer to break the minute barrier as he finished fifth in the 100m Butterfly final.

The 17-year old bettered Jody Cundy's 10-year old British record with his 60.04 heat swim, but he tore past the minute mark in the final, touching in 59.53.

James Clegg (S12) touched ninth in 1:01.85 while Stefan Hoggan (S9) was 10th in 1:05.67.

David Ellis was the third person to break a British 100m Butterfly record on the night, lowering his own S13 mark as he posted a time of 1:01.89 in the B final.

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