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Record breakers at National Para-swimming Championships 2018

Para-swimmers impressed in Manchester this weekend with Alice Tai amongst record breakers at the National Para-Swimming Championships 2018

More than 220 para-swimmers took part in the long course event organised by Activity Alliance in partnership with British Para-Swimming. It included international medallists Eleanor Simmonds, Jessica-Jane Applegate, Eleanor Robinson and Thomas Hamer.

There were three types of classification at this para-swimming event – physical (S1-S10), visual (S11-S13) and intellectual (S14).

Ealing’s Alice Tai, who was glad to be back on form following a few weeks of illness, clocked 29.81  in the S8 50m freestyle to set a new European time.

Second place went to Megan Richter of Orion with a time of 33.53 while Gloucester’s Olivia Pickering touched in 37.20 to take the bronze.

Tai has won medals at Paralympic, World and European level, including gold and silver at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle respectively.

The 19-year-old said: “I’d set out the process with my coach and in the 50 it was not to breathe for the whole thing. That’s something I’ve never done before but I managed it. I’m happy with how it went – I feel like I have more fitness than I thought.

“I’ve not been training for the 50s and my training has actually been suited to the 200s, which is weird because it’s not even an event for me. It was a personal best, so it’s looking really good for next year.”

British record for Challis

Ellie Challis secured herself a British record in the SB2 50m breaststroke. The Colchester Phoenix swimmer clocked 1.11.53 to take the title.

Louth swimmer Harvey Phillips broke the S4 50m butterfly British record, in 1.04.74.

New to the Championships, Reece Dunn of Plymouth, touched in 52.01 in the S14 100 freestyle, breaking a national record.

Jordan Catchpole, City of Norwitch, finished second with a time of 1:01.26 while Welsh swimmer Alex Rosser clocked 1:04.88 to take home the bronze.

Clean sweep for McCrea

Many swimmers talk about their love for these championships as it gives new and established para-swimmers the chance to compete against each other. It also gives spectators the opportunity to spot upcoming talent, including Leo McCrea, who won golds in all his seven events.

The 15-year-old recently picked up Swim England’s Talent Athlete of the Year Award. McCrea has progressed each year while on the England Talent Programme and is now on the British Para-Academy, the first step on to the World Class Podium programme.

The Bournemouth swimmer said: “This weekend has gone really well – I was really happy with my swims. I got a personal best in the 50m freestyle, which I’m close to a record in, and the 100m breaststroke. The best thing about this event is that there are so many people that I know.

“I was inspired to start swimming by my sister, when she started at a club. I then joined for two sessions and I really liked it.

“To other disabled people thinking about taking up swimming, I would say, just go for it and train well. Swim as well as you can and follow your goals.”

Scotland’s Scott Quin, 28, was delighted at breaking the World record in the SB14 100m breaststroke in a new time of 1:06.24.

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