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SECOND DAY SUCCESS FOR BRITISH GAS TEAM IN REYKJAVIK

19 Oct 2009

The British Gas Disability Swimming team added eleven medals to their already impressive medal tally after some strong performance on the second day of competition at the IPC Swimming European Championships.

The Brits sealed an impressive gold and silver in the women’s SB6 100m Breaststroke as Charlotte Henshaw won her first European title.

Henshaw was pushed all the way to her victory by team-mate Liz Johnson and after they both got off to good starts they were swimming stroke for stroke at the 25m mark but Henshaw started to move ahead as they approached the wall.

After the turn Henshaw had a small advantage over the world record holder and dug in to extend it through the final quarter of the race.

Henshaw finished in 1:40.50 to win her gold medal and Johnson touched in 1:41.36 to take the silver.

“I lowered my personal best this morning,” Henshaw said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I have won but I am really happy to have won it because it has been a long time coming.

“I have moved back to Nottingham and that has really helped me because I am more relaxed and it helped me bring out that performance today.”

Johnson commented: “I am disappointed for Mark [Skimming], who is my new coach, because he has worked so hard to include me in the programme in Bath. But I know that I did everything that he asked and I couldn’t thank him more. However, I couldn’t have got the medal if I hadn’t got the work under my belt with Billy [Pye].”

The bronze medal went to Ukraine’s Oksana Khrul in 1:47.82.

Multi Paralympic medallist Louise Watkin became European Champion for the first time in the women’s SM9 200m Individual Medley.

It was Spain’s Sarai Gascon Moreno that went out fastest from the start but Watkin swam an excellent Breaststroke leg to pull back some of the lead.

The British Gas Swimmer’s turn onto Freestyle was excellent as she took over the lead and she showed her strength to push ahead and win the gold in a time of 2:38.52.

Poland’s Paulina Kamilla Wozniak won the silver in 2:40.85 and Emilie Gral (France) won bronze in 2:41.27. Brits Kate Grey and Lauren Steadman finished in fifth and sixth respectively. Grey touched in 2:44.22 and Steadman finished in 2:46.40.

Anthony Stephens swam impressively to take the gold medal in the men’s S5 50m Butterfly and broke the British record along on the way.

Stephens showed his strength from the start and although he was behind at the half way point he fought hard and dug deep as he touched the wall first to take the gold in a new personal best time of 42.15.

“That was really unexpected,” Stephens said. “My main event is the 200m Freestyle and so to get the title in this event is great.

“I have never been European Champion before and to hear the national anthem was brilliant. We changed my stroke technique just last week and it really seems to have paid off here.”

The silver went to Spain’s Ricardo Ten Argiles in 42.79 and team-mate Xavier Torres Rami won the bronze in 47.04.

Sascha Kindred and Thomas Young did battle for the medals in the men’s SB7 200m Individual Medley.

Young, who is competing at his first international competition, got off to a good start and was on the world record holder’s shoulder up to the 40m mark.

European silver medallist Young moved ahead of Kindred just before the turn and although they both enjoyed strong turns it was Young that remained ahead.

But after a disqualification for a technical infringement Kindred took the title in a time of 1:24.15 with Iaroslav Semenenko (Ukraine) winning silver in 1:29.50.

Bronze went to Rusian Sadvaksov (Russia) in 1:32.70.

Eleni Papadopoulos, who won her first major international medal yesterday, went into the final of the women’s SM10 200m Individual Medley looking confident.

Papadopoulos knew team-mate Emma Cattle and Elodie Lorandi (France) would put up tough competition.

Lorandi secured the gold medal in the final 10m and touched home in a time of 2:42.19 and Papadopoulos won her second silver of the competition after finishing in 2:43.57.

“I am really shocked,” Papadopoulos said. “I thought I was in third and I looked at the score board and I saw that it said second. I went into it ranked third and came out with silver and a personal best which is great.

“To have medalled in my two main events is a real boost for me. My confidence is really growing at the moment and I am really happy.”

The bronze was won by Nina Ryabova (Russia) in 2:44.18 and British Gas swimmer Emma Cattle touched in 2:45.99 in sixth place.

Emma Hollis, who is making her European Championship debut, took an impressive silver medal in the women’s SB7 100m Breaststroke.

Lisa Den Braber (Holland) took the lead early on and dominated the race and she had the gold medal secured after touching in 1:34.57.

Hollis touched in 1:43.29 to knock two seconds off her British record and win the silver medal.

The bronze went to Germany’s Annika Geller in 1:56.06.

Paralympic Champion Robert Welbourn lowered the British record on his way to winning bronze in the men’s SM10 200m Individual Medley.

Welbourn started the race well but as the race entered the final 50m he lay in fourth and knew he had to work hard to secure a medal.

He showed his power through the Freestyle leg and touched home in third place and lowered his British record to 2:19.36.

“That was pretty good,” Welbourn said. “I do the IM as a way to get the meet started for me, to get a race under my belt. I came into the event ranked in third but there are a few of us that are really close and you never know what is going to happen so I never really expected it.”

The new European Champion is Lucas Ludwig of Germany after he stopped the clock in a new European record time of 2:15.95. The silver medallist is Sven Decaesstecker (Belgium) in 2:17.73.

European bronze medallist Matthew Whorwood won his second bronze medal of the competition after putting in an excellent performance in the men’s SB6 100m Breaststroke.

Whorwood swam a well timed race as he moved up the field in the final 50m to take the bronze medal in a time of 1:31.91.

Croatia’s Milhovil Spanja won the gold ahead of Germany’s Christoph Burkard who won the silver medal. Spanja finished in 1:27.46 and Burkard touched in 1:27.56.

Claire Cashmore won her first medal of the Championships in the women’s SB6 100m Breaststroke after finishing in third place in a race that knocked three seconds off the world record.

Cashmore fought hard and secured her bronze after finishing in 1:23.61 just 0.12 seconds off silver medal position.

The new world record holder is Olesya Vladykina (Russia) and she won the gold in 1:17.60. The silver medal went to Paulina Kamila Wozniak (Poland) in 1:23.53.

European Champions James Anderson won bronze in the men’s S2 200m Freestyle to add to the gold medal that he won in the 50m Freestyle.

At the half way point Anderson was behind the field but showed a good back end to the race and he moved up to third place.

Anderson won the bronze in 5:10.49 with Itzhak Mamistvalov (Israel) winning the race in 5:06.67 and  Dmitry Kokarev (Russia) taking bronze in 5:07.67.

David Hill finished just outside of the medals in the men’s SM9 200m Individual Medley after finishing in sixth place in a time of 2:30.36.

In the women’s SB13 saw Lauren Hobbins finish in eighth place overall after touching home in a time of 1:30.96.

The men’s SB8 100m Breatstroke saw both Sam Hynd and Richard Howard finish outside of the medals. Hynd finished in sixth place in 1:15.44.

Head Coach Lars Humer enjoyed seeing another successful day in the pool: “We saw a lot of personal bests today from a lot of athletes which shows progression and for us that is really important.

“One of the things we worked hard on in the last quadrennial was the development of the race and we are seeing the benefit of that here. The finishing of a lot of races has been really strong and we are winning the really close races which is great.

“We are also seeing a lot of youngsters coming through which is really good. Emma [Hollis], Eleni [Papadopoulos] and Thomas [Young] have worked really hard and performed really well. Charlotte [Henshaw] is another athlete that has showed a lot of promise through the last quadrennial and it is beginning to show through.”

-ENDS-

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

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