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Rodgers secures fantastic four in Berlin

8 July 2011

Susie Rodgers sealed her fourth gold medal for the British Gas GBR Disability Swimming Team on the penultimate day of competition at the IPC Swimming European Championships.

The 27-year old won her fourth title and third individual crown in the women’s S7 50m Butterfly in a new European record time.

I did know my PB was quite close to the record but I didn't expect to go quite as quick as that.

International newcomer Rodgers dominated her final as she held a body length’s lead at the half way point.

When the Brit reached for the wall she had a five second lead over the field and lowered the European record to 36.74.

“I did know that my PB was quite close to the record so I wanted to try and get that but I didn’t expect to go quite as quick as that,” Rodgers said.

“It’s getting easier and more comfortable for me as the competition has gone on. I had far fewer nerves today – my first race absolutely terrifying but I was okay today.

“It feels amazing to have won these medals but I want to work on improving myself again for next year.”

Silver was won by Ani Palian (Ukraine) in 41.61 and Marianne Fredbo (Norway) won bronze in 41.78.

Heather Frederiksen put in a dominant performance in the final of the women’s S8 100m Freestyle to claim her third gold medal of the competition.

The world record holder touched just ahead of the field in the first 50m but with an excellent turn carved out her lead.

She put in a strong finish to just miss breaking her world record by 0.28 after touching in a time of 1:06.83.

Teammate Emma Hollis won the bronze in 1:12.44 with Olesya Vladykina winning silver in 1:09.80.

European record holder James Crisp won his first gold of the competition with a strong performance in the men’s S9 100m Backstroke.

The time wasn't that important - it was just about going out and getting that gold medal.

Competing in his main event, Crisp got an excellent start to his final touching a second ahead of Tamas Sors (Hungary) at the turn.

The Brit continued to command the race and touched in a time of 1:03.68 to seal his victory.

“The race went well,” Crisp said. “I was just off my best but I’ve had a hard week of racing leading up to this one – more than I’m probably used to.

“So the time wasn’t that important. It was just about going out and getting that gold medal.”

European 400m Freestyle Champion Stephanie Millward stormed to victory in the women’s S9 100m Backstroke.

Millward, also competing in her main event, got off to an excellent start and turned two seconds ahead of the field. In the final length, Millward kept her momentum up and took the gold medal with a time of 1:10.54.

“I was hoping for a world record in that race,” Millward said. “I know I can do it so I have just got to keep training hard and then at 2012 I might get that gold as well.”

Louise Watkin won the silver – her seventh medal of the meet – in 1:15.16 and bronze went to Emilie Gral (France) in 1:17.16. Lauren Steadman finished just outside of medals in 1:17.53.

Dan Pepper, who won the 200m Freestyle gold earlier this week, won the silver medal in the men’s S14 100m Breaststroke.

The Brit turned first but Dutch swimmer Marc Evers (1:09.61) had a strong final 50m to take the lead and victory ahead of Pepper who touched in 1:09.95. Scott Quin finished in fifth in 1:13.98 and Nicholas Boylan secured sixth in 1:15.73.

European 100m Butterfly bronze medallist Hannah Russell won her first silver medal of the competition with an impressive swim in the women’s S12 100m Backstroke. She went out quickly and turned first and battled through the final 50m to just miss gold in a British record time of 1:11.38.

Emma Cattle won her first medal of the IPC Swimming European Championships in the women’s S10 100m Backstroke after securing silver behind Nina Ryabova (Russia). Cattle touched in 1:13.16.

Anthony Stephens won the silver medal in the men’s S5 100m Freestyle and showed his strength to power through the water to finish in 1:17.27. Andrew Mullen finished in seventh in 1:29.84.

It was the battle of the Hynd brothers in the men’s S8 100m Freestyle and it didn’t disappoint with Sam and Oliver swimming stroke for stroke throughout the final length. It was Sam that touched ahead as he took fourth place in 1:01.34 with Oliver finishing fifth in 1:01.70.

Natalie Massey and Nicole Lough finished in fourth and fifth place respectively in the women’s S14 100m Breaststroke. Massey touched in 1:25.65 and Lough secured a new personal best time of 1:26.13.

Natalie Jones finished in fifth place in the women’s S6 50m Butterfly with a time of 41.53 and compatriot Elizabeth Johnson took seventh in 44.17.

Finally, Eleanor Simmonds finished in fifth in the women’s S6 100m Backstroke in a time of 1:36.97.

National Performance Director John Atkinson said: “One day to go and we are all looking forward to the final day of the competition and we are looking forward to some more strong performances from the swimmers as they aim to wrap up the meet on a high.”

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