Russell takes joint World Series gold as Humphrey breaks British recordFebruary 18, 2022
Paralympic champion Hannah Russell took joint gold in the Citi Para Swimming World Series on day two in Aberdeen.
It was a dead heat for first place in the Women’s 100m Backstroke between S12 swimmer Russell (1:09.62) and Ireland’s S13 athlete, Roisin Ni Riain (1:08.13), with both swimmers scoring 854 points.
Russell improved on her silver medal on the opening day of action to take her first gold of the competition.
There was also a record-breaking swim from Northampton’s S11 swimmer, Scarlett Humphrey, who broke the long standing British record which had stood since 1996. She clocked a time of 1:27.31 to achieve 595 points.
Canada’s Danielle Dorris (1:24.63) took the bronze medal, with the S7 swimmer finishing on 828 points. Britain’s S14 swimmers Bethany Firth (1:09.31) and Jessica-Jane Applegate (1:09.85) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.
In the national final, Skipton’s S10 swimmer Abbie Hampshire scored a total of 648 points for her time of 1:16.07 to finish on top of the podium and take the title.
She was followed by fellow S10 swimmer Amber Haycock (1:18.00) with 601 points and in third after her time of 1:29.72 was Eliza Humphrey (S11) with 548 points.
On her win, Russell said: “I’m really happy with how the meet has gone so far. Having the 100m Freestyle up first was a great warm-up event, and now coming back into the backstroke, which is my main event, I was really pleased that I managed to duck under the 1:10 mark. It’s really exciting.
“With the backstroke and the freestyle, I’ve managed to get under the World Championships qualifying times for those events, so that’s two in the bag, which is really promising.
“As far as the confidence is going into the 50m Freestyle on Sunday, I cannot wait for the event. There are a good few heats and I’m really looking forward to racing with the other girls.
“I’ve got Naomi Schwartz from Germany, it’s great to have her here at the World Series – she’s one of my competitors in my classification, so it’s great to have her to race against.”
Clegg claims top spot
A huge score of 887 points and an impressive time of 1:01.76 saw Stephen Clegg claim the World Series title in the Men’s 100m Backstroke.
He finished ahead of Spain’s Inigo Llopis Sanz (S8) whose 1:07.83 time totalled 784 points.
Finishing in a close third was Britain’s Louis Lawlor (S14) to take the bronze medal. He clocked a time of 1:02.08 for 769 points.
Clegg explained that he was ‘pretty pleased’ with his swim. He continued: “I was hoping for a little bit quicker, I noticed some technical errors this morning that I tried to fix and got some of them, but I was still out a bit too slow this afternoon.
“There’s still some work to be done there, but it’s not the main focus for me, so all in all, I’m pretty pleased.
“The 100m Butterfly is always my main event, that’s where most of my focus in training goes. I’m always excited to race that, it’s good fun and there’s some competitive swimming going on this week, so hopefully there’s more to come in that on Sunday.”
Bolton Metro swimmer Luke Batty (S9) was the winner of the national final after he managed a time of 1:10.92 for 636 points.
In second place was Kingston Hill’s Owen Garsides who added another silver to his two medals on the opening day of the event.
Garsides touched the wall in 1:06.43 for 627 points, followed by fellow S14 swimmer Dylan Bleakley (1:08.77) with 565 points.
Challis and Longhorne take breaststroke gold
Ellie Challis was the only athlete to compete in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke World Series final and her time of 1:16.44 racked up a total of 626 points as she was crowned champion in that event.
In the men’s World Series final, Lyndon Longhorne went head-to-head with Spain’s Javier Torres as the pair battled it out.
Longhorne just got the touch ahead of Torres to finish in 58.01, only 0.07 seconds outside his own British record time of 57.94. He scored 514 points.
Torres took silver in 58.36 for 505 points, with Harvey Phillips (1:09.71) in third on 296 points. All three athletes swam in the SB3 category.
Summers-Newton storms to title
Maisie Summers-Newton, European record holder and Paralympic champion in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, claimed yet another gold medal as she stormed to the finish.
Northampton’s SB6 swimmer recorded a superb time of 1:34.70 to score 854 points in the World Series final, 123 more than her nearest rival in Rebecca Redfern.
Summers-Newton revealed she was ‘really happy’, saying: “This morning, it was a season’s best so I couldn’t ask for much more – but I really wanted to break the 1:35, and to go 1:34 is really good.
“The past two days have been amazing, I’m so happy, I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Redfern (SB13) scored 731 points for her time of 1:17.22 with Grace Harvey (SB5) earning a bronze medal after her swim in the first of two World Series finals in this event.
Harvey’s time of 1:45.32 saw her rack up 707 points to finish in third in the medal standings.
RTW Monson’s Fern Sneddon (SB6) was crowned national champion after her swim saw her touch the wall in 1:49.51 for 552 points.
SB7 swimmer Samantha Lewis scored the second highest (441 points) to take silver in a time of 1:36.78 and swimming in the SB14 category, Fern Ioannou (1:36.78) scored 412 points for bronze.
Quin just outside of record time
Scott Quin opened up a lead in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke World Series final to take gold, with all the medals going to the SB14 swimmers in this event.
Quin was less than a second outside his British record time with his 1:06.04 which totalled a massive 900 points.
He said: “I’m really happy with that swim tonight.
“This morning was a 66.7, so I was quite happy with that, and then I came in tonight and thought, ‘I’ve hit that qualifying time, so I’ll just enjoy myself and do something different’.
“You don’t get the opportunity to just enjoy racing at meets like this – I’ve done plenty of these World Series meets, so I’ve been around here a while!
“It’s just nice to have that competitive edge to everything again. It’s a shame we don’t have spectators again and more athletes from around the world coming over – but for me, I’m 31 and I just enjoy racing.
“You have to embrace the situation we’re in. I think I’m becoming a wiser man, I’m learning to enjoy myself as well and not get uptight about everything.”
Doing his best to keep up with Quin throughout the race was Conner Morrison who earned 795 points after swimming a time of 1:08.82. In third was Iceland’s Robert Isak Jonsson (1:09.01) with 789 points.
It was a great swim from Plymouth Leander’s Cameron Vearncombe in the national final to touch the wall ahead of his fellow SB14 swimmers.
He beat his qualification time of 1:13.02 by 2.2 seconds to take the title in a time of 1:10.82, which saw him finish on 730 points.
Joe Seage was next up in 1:14.96 for 615 points and it was another podium place for Owen Garsides (1:16.96), this time in third with 568 points.
Silver success in backstroke
The Women’s 50m Backstroke World Series final saw Ellie Challis add silver to her gold medal earlier in the finals session of day two in Aberdeen.
The British S3 swimmer finished in 58.38 seconds for 573 points, narrowly behind Germany’s S4 athlete Gina Boettcher (53.12) who took gold with 595 points.
City of Cambridge’s Claire Connon (S5) did enough to earn herself a bronze medal with a time of 52.73 and 350 points.
In the men’s event, Longhorne and Torres faced off again in the final event of day two, the Men’s 50m Backstroke World Series final.
This time it was the Spaniard who came out on top, touching the wall in 48.06 seconds to score 620 points.
Longhorne did add a silver medal to his tally, with his time of 51.43 earning him 506 points. Russia’s S5 swimmer Kirill Pulver (44.39) took the bronze medal with 354 points.
Main picture: Georgie Kerr/British Swimming (left), Northampton Swimming Club (right)