Alice Tai wins Commonwealth gold in AustraliaApril 6, 2018
Alice Tai and Lewis White continued Team England’s outstanding start to the para-swimming events at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Tai won gold and White won silver on day two in Australia, adding to victories for Tom Hamer and Ellie Robinson from the opening night of the Games.
While Tai’s victory was Team England’s sixth swimming gold on the Gold Coast, it was their 100th of all time at the Commonwealth Games.
Like Hamer on the opening night, Tai came into the S9 100m Backstroke as hot favourite and world record holder.
And having qualified fastest from the morning heats in 1:09.63, Tai took her form to another level in the final.
She left the field in her wake to touch in 1:08.77, coming home more than 2.5 seconds clear of the field.
Tai said: “I knew that Ellie was going to be tough competition, she’s just a phenomenal athlete so I’m really glad to have come away winning that today.
“I’ve been wanting to train in the rain since we got here and I haven’t had the opportunity to and then it started pouring down before my race, which is not really ideal but I thought ‘okay, let’s just do this’.”
On being Team England’s 100th Commonwealth Games swimming gold medal, Tai said: “I didn’t have a clue. It’s literally once in a lifetime because no one can have that place again, I’m shocked. It wouldn’t have happened if Team England hadn’t been swimming so well. I have to thank the team. The whole team has just been buzzing off the back of the success.
“Yesterday we got four golds and every swimmer is just amazing. I’m just really proud to be on the team and everyone is swimming really well.”
White lowers British record for freestyle silver
While White fell narrowly short of continuing a clean sweep of para-swimming golds, the City of Derby swimmer produced a lifetime best in the S9 100m Freestyle final.
The 17-year old won Paralympic bronze over 400m Free at Rio last year, but had impressed in the morning heats with a PB 56.83 to progress second fastest.
Australia’s Paralympic champion Timothy Disken was in lane four for the final and held the English swimmer off to win in 56.07.
But White was more than a second clear of the field as he chased Disken home. The English teenager ultimately took the British record down to 56.77 to win his silver.
Commenting on his performance, White said: “I’m over the moon, it was a good swim. That’s two British records in one day and I can’t be disappointed with that.
“My preparation has gone well and I’d like to thank my coach Mandy for getting me in this shape.
“It’s a great confidence springboard for the rest of the season.”