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Second world record for Simmonds in Berlin

6 July 2011

Double Paralympic Champion Eleanor Simmonds lowered her own world record in the women’s SM6 200m Individual Medley at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Berlin.

Simmonds, who was crowned 400m Freestyle Champion earlier this week, went into the final ranked in second place behind fellow British Gas GBR Disability Swimming Team member Natalie Jones.

I was confident tonight but to win gold with the world record tonight - I'm just so happy.

The pair knew the final would be tough and that they would be pushed the whole way by Mirjam de Koning Peper (Netherlands).

World champion Simmonds waited until the final freestyle leg to take the lead before storming home in the final 50m to touch in her new world record time of 3:08.98 ahead of Jones who touched in a time of 3:11.44.

“I am really happy to have got the world record in the 400m Free and then to top it off with the world record tonight – I am just so happy,” Simmonds said. “I was confident tonight because I swam well in the Medley at the World Cup.”

Peper won bronze in a time of 3:17.80 with Liz Johnson taking sixth in 3:24.70.

Defending champion Robert Welbourn took the gold medal in the men’s S10 400m Freestyle with a hard fought win.

I haven't done a 400 that has hurt like that in a while - but I can't complain about the result!

Welbourn went out hard in the final and found himself chased all the way by German Lucas Ludwig. The Brit had the lead from the start and with 100m to go had a two second lead over his rival.

Welbourn reached the wall in a time of 4:11.18 to win his gold medal with Ludwig taking silver in 4:12.12.

“It certainly was a really tough race,” Welbourn said. “I haven’t done a 400 that has hurt like that in a while. But I can’t complain about the result.

“Normally I am the one that is just behind but this time I made my mark on the race and tried to keep the lead. But this is what all my training has been geared towards and this is what I targeted and this is the result I wanted.”

Masym Isaiev (Ukraine) won the bronze in 4:17.8.

Louise Watkin won her fifth medal of the Championships on day four, collecting silver in the S9 50m Freestyle.

The world champion was defending her European title in Berlin and while she couldn’t keep up with Spain’s Sarai Gascon who won in 29.28, Watkin touched second in a season’s best 29.87 for her medal.

Stephanie Millward finished just outside of the medals in fourth place with a time of 29.95 and Kate Grey secured sixth with 31.15 on the clock.

Ben Procter won his second medal of the Championships, scooping S14 100m Backstroke silver to go with his 200m Freestyle bronze from day two in Berlin.

Procter broke his own British record en route to the podium, finishing in 1:05.43 with British teammate and defending champion Craig Rodgie finishing fourth in 1:07.04.

Rhiannon Henry won her second medal of the Championships, missing out on gold by a fingertip in the S13 50m Freestyle.

Henry, who won S13 200m Individual Medley gold on day one in Germany, touched in 28.57 – losing out by just 0.14 seconds to Ukraine’s Iryna Balashova.

Claire Cashmore concluded the night for the Brits with a silver in the women’s 100m Breaststroke after touching just behind Russia’s Olesya Vladykina in 1:20.37.

Andrew Mullen set a 13-second personal best to win bronze in the S5 200m Individual Medley.

The 14-year old international newcomer, making his international debut in Berlin, impressed with a well timed swim to secure a time of 3:33.22.

Natalie Massey knocked nearly a second off her personal best from the heats to secure bronze in the women’s S14 100m Backstroke.

The 20-year old – who also won 200m Freestyle silver earlier in the week – touched home in 1:11.49 while 16-year old Nicole Lough clocking a personal best 1:24.25 on the way to eighth in her first international final.

Hannah Russell set a new British record for the third time in four sessions in Berlin.

The 14-year old narrowly missed out on the medals in the S12 50m Freestyle and finished fifth, but knocked more than half a second off her own British record with her time of 29.04.

European bronze medallist Gemma Almond finished just outside of the medals in the women’s S10 400m Freestyle with a time of 4:54.10. Emma Cattle took seventh in a time of 5:02.65.

Finally, Sam Hynd finished in fifth place in the men’s SB8 100m Breaststroke after touching the wall in 1:16.30.

National Performance Director John Atkinson said: “Tonight I have been pleased with the attitude of the team on what proved to be a tougher night for us. The athletes continued to work hard and pull out outstanding results. The biggest performance was Eleanor Simmonds who won her gold medal in a new world record and compatriot Natalie Jones giving us another gold and silver in the same race. Rob [Welbourn] also became our 15th British gold medallist in the 400m Freestyle which has been great for the team.”

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