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Rodgers and Russell win golds at 2016 Europeans

Woking’s Hannah Russell and Beckenham’s Susie Rodgers claimed gold medals in the penultimate day’s finals at the IPC Swimming European Championships 2016 in Portugal.

S12 swimmer Russell was just 0.01 seconds shy of her own world record as she dominated the final to touch in 1:06.16 for gold, four seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

“I am very happy right now,” said Russell. “I came in there and I wanted to show everyone what I was made of and coming back and doing a 1:06, I am absolutely amazed and to get that title this year means a lot to me.

“I did have the World Championships result in the back of my mind and I wanted to go in there and do what I’ve been practicing. I feel like crying but I haven’t. I am keeping it all in.

“It’s been a tough couple of months with training towards our trials and I’m just so happy to be able to stand back up on the top of the podium.”

Rodgers’ gold was her third of the Championships as she added the S7 100m Freestyle crown to victories in the 400m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly.

It was a tight race, with pressure throughout from Germany’s Denise Grahl before the Brit clinched victory in 1:13.42 ahead of Grahl’s 1:15.01.

“I’ve taken a lot from this competition,” Rodgers said. “I have a great competitor in Denise [Grahl]. She pushes me all the way.

“I could see her on me all the way through that first 50 but I knew I could get her on the second 50m.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to improve my races. I have a tough programme here so time wise it was a bit slower than last week. I know it’s in there. I’ve just got to get the rest right.”

City of Manchester Aquatics’ Jonathan Fox won his second medal of the competition with silver in the S7 100m Freestyle, touching in 1:04.18.

Meanwhile Harriet Lee claimed SB9 100m Breaststroke silver in1:08.71 to claim her first medal at the Championships.

The other English medallists on the night were Northampton’s Ellie Robinson with bronze in the S6 400m Freestyle (5:43.77) and Claire Cashmore with bronze in the SB8 100m Breaststroke (1:21.53).

  • Click here to view full results from the IPC Swimming European Championships 2016.

Photo credit: Pedro Vasconcelos / IPC

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