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Walker leads way in 50 Free heats

19 April 2014

S7 world champion Matt Walker rolled back the years to lead MC 50m Freestyle qualifiers with an impressive heat swim on day two of the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow.

Walker – who will turn 36 on Friday – was just 0.05 seconds off the time he clocked to win World gold in Montreal last summer as he clocked 28.55 to qualify first for tonight’s final.

Jonathan Fox (S7) and Matt Wylie (S9) also made the ‘A’ final in the 50m Free, touching in 29.58 and a PB 27.38 respectively.

There were another five British qualifiers for the women’s 50m Free final with Hannah Russell (S12) leading the way in third on 28.02.

Steph Slater (S8), Amy Marren (S9), Ellie Simmonds (S6) and Susie Rodgers (S7) will join her in the final.

Jack Thomas clocked a British SM14 record to progress second in the MC 200m Individual Medley.

The 18-year old lowered his PB by more than 2.5 seconds as he touched in 2:18.22 for 878 points.

Oliver Hynd (SM8), Craig Harris (SM14), Sascha Kindred (SM6), Kahoru Harazawa (SM10) and James Crisp (SM9) also made the ‘A’ final.

Bethany Firth (SM14) led qualifiers in the 200m Individual Medley, clocking 2:27.27 for 1072 points to win her heat.

The 18-year old, who will be eligible to compete for Great Britain from August this year, touched more than three seconds faster than the Netherland’s Marlou van der Kulk’s winning time from last year’s IPC World Championship final in Montreal.

Van der Kulk qualified in second for tonight’s final in 2:33.07 while Jessica-Jane Applegate (SM14) was the fastest British qualifier in 2:33.13.

Simmonds (SM6), Marren (SM9) and Slater (SM8) also made their second ‘A’ finals of the day, along with Steph Millward (SM9) and Eleni Papadopoulos (SM10).

Finally, Lyndon Longhorne beat the three-minute barrier for the first time in the men’s MC 150m Individual Medley heat. The 18-year old touched in 2:57.74 to lower his British SM4 record.

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