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Golden girls Ellie Robinson and Jessica-Jane Applegate round off Europeans in style

Jessica-Jane Applegate and Ellie Robinson rounded off the 2021 World Para Swimming European Open Championships in style after winning two gold medals on the final day of competition.

Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Robinson swam her way to the podium in the Women’s S6 50m Butterfly, taking a clear win in a time of 36.39. In second place was Ireland’s Nicole Turner (37.04) while the bronze medal went to Verena Schott of Germany in 37.27.

Speaking after her race, Robinson said:

“I’m actually quite relieved and quite surprised as well.

“Obviously, it’s been a different year for everyone and I’ve had a couple of my own challenges, so to come to this competition relatively unprepared and to perform the way I’ve done in the 50m Butterfly, I’m actually very happy.

“If you look at the time on its own, then perhaps I wouldn’t be – but given the circumstances, I’m incredibly happy. Knowing that things are improving and I know things are heading in the right direction, I’m actually excited to see what I can do when all the stars are aligned.

“To swim a time like that, I’m excited to see what I can do with some really good training under my belt.”

‘Face-to-face competition’

Ellie Robinson also praised the face-to-face competition experience the team have had in Maderia this week, stating how much of a ‘gift’ it has been to be able to compete in person again.

She said: “Seeing everyone again has been great. I’ve actually had the chance to practice some of my language skills – and when I say practice, I mean horrifically fail at! It’s been nice to see people again, to have that interaction again face-to-face rather than virtually, it’s been a gift.

“Things are starting to look more positive for me. Now it’s about going back, getting some decent training under my belt and really pushing to see what we can do in Tokyo, building on what I’ve done at this competition.”

Golden girl Applegate goes 4 for 4

Jessica-Jane Applegate was in flying form once again in Madeira and took another European title in the Women’s S14 100m Butterfly, her fourth win of the week.

The City of Norwich swimmer had already taken three gold medals in her races this week including the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle, the S14 100m Backstroke and the S14 100m Freestyle.

Commenting on her performance, Jessica-Jane said: “That was really hard! I said last night that it would be painful, but wow, my legs!

“Do you know what makes it so much easier, it’s the girls I race with. They’re absolutely amazing, and each one of them, we’re best friends outside the pool. They make it so much more enjoyable – and I’ve really enjoyed the competition.

“In the back of my mind, I had what I wanted to go while here, but there was a bit of me that just wanted to get the consideration time – and I think I got it in that race, so fingers crossed.”

With a team of only eight swimmers competing, Great Britain has finished the week of racing in Portugal with a total of ten medals (five gold, two silver, three bronze) to finish ninth overall in the medal table.