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Second gold for Applegate as Robinson makes medal-winning start

Jessica-Jane Applegate claimed her second gold of the World Para Swimming European Open Championships while Ellie Robinson takes bronze on day two in Madeira.

Following her gold in the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle on the opening day of competition, Applegate added to her medal haul with a dominant display in the S14 100m Backstroke.

The 24-year-old explained that the win was a ‘massive confidence boost’ as she finished in a time of 1:09.37, a total of 2.63 seconds ahead of her nearest opponent.

The swimmer in second place was Germany’s Janina Breuer (1:12.00) with the bronze medal going to Russia’s Olga Poteshkina (1:15.12).

After her win, Applegate said: “I really struggled on the 200m Freestyle for fitness, and my backstroke has always been hit-and-miss.

“I’m super happy – that’s up there with my best times, so I’m really happy with that time.

“It’s a massive confidence boost, because I don’t normally train backstroke, so I’ll probably work on that a bit more going forward!

“Like I said yesterday, training has been really tough, it’s great to see these times without much training, so I can’t wait to see what Tokyo can hold.

“I’ve spent a lot of time training in a swim spa outside. It’s been tough, but mentally, I think if I can deal with that challenge, I can deal with anything else.”

Bronze for Robinson

Ellie Robinson made a medal-winning start to the competition as she finished on the podium in the Women’s S6 100m Freestyle.

A time of 1:18.52 was enough to win the bronze medal, after Switzerland’s Nora Meister overtook Robinson on the home straight to finish in second.

Meister’s time was 1:15.28, which was 3.12 seconds behind the gold medallist Yelyzaveta Mereshko of Ukraine.

Robinson said: “I wasn’t too focused about positions and times – this is really just about getting the feel for competitive racing again.

“My Paralympic events are both 50s, the 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly, so for me, it was all about that first 50m. So to turn second and then finish third, it shows that first 50m is quite good.

“It’s been such a different year, there’s been so much uncertainty, it’s been a year of learning. So for me, it’s about doing what I love, doing what I do best and that’s getting in and racing.

“It’s almost more interesting when you have that uncertainty because you don’t know what’s going to happen. As athletes, I think that’s something we can really thrive on at the Games.”