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World record glory for Fox

7 Jul 2011

World champion Jonathan Fox lowered his second world record of the competition with a dominant victory in the men’s S7 100m Backstroke on day five of the IPC Swimming European Championships in Berlin.

Competing in the event that he won in Eindhoven last year, Fox claimed the first of the British Gas GBR Disability Swimming Team’s three gold medals on day five in Germany.

It was actually quite comfortable to be honest - obviously I had good preparation and I couldn't be happier to get a world record.

Having won S7 400m Freestyle gold on day one in Berlin, a second title was never in doubt for Fox as he led from the gun and powered clear to win in 1:10.45 – three seconds clear of Croatia’s silver medallist Mihovil Spanja.

“It was actually quite comfortable to be honest,” Fox said. “I was ready to get in and qualify this morning but it turned out to be a straight final which was great.

“Obviously I had good preparation and a world record – I couldn’t be happier.”

Spanja won the silver in 1:13.45 and bronze went to Levgen Poltavskyi (Ukraine) in 1:14.81.

Barely five minutes after Fox’s title, international newcomer Susie Rodgers sprung a surprise to clinch gold in the women’s S7 100m Backstroke.

That was quite a shock for me - I think my facial expression after the race gave that away.

Competing against Germany’s world champion and world record holder Kirsten Bruhn, Rodgers refused to be shaken by the home favourite and overtook her in the final metres to win her third gold of the week.

Knocking exactly two seconds off her British record, the 27-year old eventually touched home in 1:26.90 ahead of Bruhn (1:26.52) and Italy’s Arianna Talamona (1:32.53).

“That was quite a shock for me,” Rodgers said. “My facial expression kind of gave that away. The first 50 felt quite difficult but I got the turn and then I just thought go for it and go as hard as I can and it worked.”

Stephanie Millward broke her own European record to seal Great Britain’s third gold of the night.

The 400m always seems like too far for me but I very much enjoyed it tonight.

After qualifying fastest for the final, the 29-year old defending champion warded off a determined challenge from Croatia’s Sanja Milojevic to finish in 4:42.23.

“It was a good swim actually for me,” Millward said. “The 400m always seems like too far for me but I very much enjoyed it.

"The record was unexpected. It has been quite a tough week for me and so I just didn’t expect a good time like that.

"I’m impressed because I have done a lot of hard work with my coach Billy Pye and I suppose I should have believed in myself.”

In a desperate sprint for the wall, Louise Watkin (4:54.54) held off Lauren Steadman (4:55.93) to seal bronze and her sixth medal of the Championships.

Graham Edmunds set a season’s best to seal S10 50m Freestyle bronze, repeating his result from the Europeans two years ago.

The Swansea High Performance Centre swimmer finished in 25.61 – holding off teammate Rob Welbourn who finished fourth in 25.87.

James Anderson broke his own five-year old British record to win bronze in the S2 100m Freestyle.

The 48-year old – who has won 17 medals from the last five Paralympic Games – clocked 2:20.62 for his second medal of the week, finishing behind Russia’s Dmitry Kokarev (2:12.88) and Greece’s Aristeidis Makrodimitris (2:18.13).

Emma Hollis won the British team’s first medal of the evening, bagging bronze in the S8 100m Butterfly.

Repeating her result from the last Europeans in 2009, the 19-year old set a two-second personal best 1:22.26 to finish behind Germany’s Stefanie Weinberg (1:21.18) and Denmark’s Amalie Vinther (1:21.67).

Fran Williamson scooped her second medal of the Championships in the S3 100m Freestyle.

The 26-year old finished in a season’s best 2:21.63 to win bronze behind Ukraine’s duo of Olga Sviderska (2:03.81) and Olena Istomina (2:10.04).

James Crisp won his third medal of the Championships, sealing bronze in the S9 400m Freestyle in 4:22.88.

The 11-time Paralympic medallist missed out on silver by a finger tip, touching just 0.08 behind Croatia’s silver medallist Kristijan Vincetic.

International debutante Hannah Russell smashed her personal best as she broke Melanie Easter’s 11-year old British record on the way to fourth in the S12 400m Freestyle.

The 14-year old, who broke another of Easter’s 11-year old British records en route to S12 100m Butterfly bronze earlier in the week, knocked more than 13 seconds off her previous best time as she touched in 4:51.35.

Russell was in medal contention throughout the race but after a desperate sprint to the line, missed out bronze by just 1.35 seconds.

Emma Cattle also downed an 11-year old British record as she finished 6th in the S10 50m Freestyle final.

Having set a personal best in the heats, Cattle stormed through in 30.38 – beating Sarah Bailey’s old marker by 0.02 seconds.

Both Sean Fraser and Oliver Hynd set personal bests in the final of the S8 100m Butterfly.

Fraser came closest to a medal, missing out on bronze by 0.63 as he touched in 1:05.79. Hynd knocked more than two seconds off his best time to finish seventh in 1:07.11.

National Performance Director John Atkinson commented: “Tonight was a great demonstration of an all round team effort. We got two extra medals than we could have realistically expected and I think that three gold medals was a great result for day five.

“We are well positioned for the final two days of competition after our performance this evening and I will be expecting us to maintain the great team spirit, support and work ethic.”

European Champs 2016