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Bethany Firth wins second Paralympic gold of Rio 2016

Swimming News

Bethany Firth claimed her second gold medal for ParalympicsGB with victory in the S14 200m Freestyle on day four of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Newcastle Swim Team swimmer clocked a Paralympic record 2:03.30 to take the touch and add to her win in the S14 100m Backstroke.

British and English teammate Jessica-Jane Applegate joined Firth on the podium, coming home in 2:06.30 for silver.

It’s #GOLD for @BethanyFirth2!

Firth said: “I’m so thankful that it all came together. I wasn’t really feeling that great in the heats but the team put me back together.

“You never know what you are going to get with me but I’m so delighted to get another gold.”

Silvers for Redfern and Hamer on Paralympic debuts

Becky Redfern of Worcester claimed a silver medal in her first ever Paralympic final.

The 16-year-old was fastest qualifier from the SB13 100m Breaststroke heats, having set a Paralympic record 1:17.08.

And while Redfern ducked under her own world record in the final with a 1:13.81 effort, Uzbekistan’s Fotimakhon Amilova was faster still in a new world marker of 1:12.45.

Redfern said: “I came into the Games expecting nothing and to come out with silver is great, it’s just overwhelming.

“I’ve got the bug for it now and in Tokyo I’m going for gold. I never expected a time that quick.”

Tom Hamer of City of Manchester also marked his debut for ParalympicsGB with silver.

The 18-year old clocked a British record 1:56.58 in the S14 200m Freestyle final to finish behind Hong Kong’s Tang Wai Lok.

The top three were locked in a thrilling battle to the wall with less than 0.5 seconds separating the podium places.

Tang ultimately took the touch in a Paralympic record 1:56.32 while Australia’s defending silver medallist Daniel Fox claimed bronze in 1:56.69.

Hamer said: “I’m really happy but also disappointed because I came in expecting to win.

“I know I’ve a got great time but it’s still sickening. That was so close, it’s just a fingertip, it’s nothing. Every time I get in that pool I want to win.”

Bronze for Millward and Craig in 100m Freestyle

Both Josef Craig and Stephanie Millward claimed bronze medals in their respective S8 100m Freestyle races.

Having broken 59 seconds for the first time with a British record 58.73 in the heats, Craig lowered his national marker to 58.19 in the final.

The English swimmer was less than 0.1 seconds away from silver as he chased down Chinese pair Wang Yinan and Song Maodang. Defending champion Wang surged ahead in the second 50m to win in 56.80 while Song touched in 58.13.

Craig’s English teammate Ollie Hynd also ducked under 59 seconds, touching fourth with a personal best 58.85.

Millward of Corsham was in one of closest races of the evening, as all three medal winners finished within 0.5 seconds of one another.

Australia claimed a one-two as Maddison Elliott (1:04.73) lead home Lakeisha Patterson (1:05.08) but Millward set a European record 1:05.16 for bronze.

Marren seals bronze in 200m IM

Amy Marren won her first Paralympic medal with an emotional bronze in the SM9 200m Individual Medley.

The Romford Town has struggled for form and consistency since winning the world title in 2013, but clocked her fastest time since 2014 to win a maiden Paralympic prize.

While she turned first with 50m to go, the English swimmer had to dig deep to stay in the podium positions as the field closed on her. Marren ultimately touched in 2:36.26 – just 0.22 seconds ahead of China’s Xu Jialing in fourth.

Marren said: “It’s been a long four years with lots of up and downs and I can’t stop crying.

“I’ve found my love for swimming again this season and there is a long way to go. As soon as the enjoyment goes then I’m done but right now, I’m back.

“I had a lot of self doubt in my career but I feel on top of the world right now.”

Marren’s English teammate Claire Cashmore was eighth in the same final, touching in 2:38.34.

Image credit: onEdition