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Alice Tai sets new world best with golden performance in Sheffield

Alice Tai set two new world records on her way to another gold medal on day three of the British Para-swimming International Meet in Sheffield.

Paralympic gold medallist Tai broke the world record in the morning heats of the Women’s S8 100m Backstroke, clocking 1:09.43 at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

And she went even quicker in the final to shatter her own world record as she recorded a time of 1:08.26 to take the World Series gold medal with a total of 1220 points.

Tai, who also won gold in the Women’s MC 100m Freestyle,  said: “I think there are lots of things in my race I want to keep working on like my turns. I am always looking at ways to improve.

“But it’s always nice to compete close to home so your friends and family can come to watch.”

Tai’s teammate Bethany Firth’s (S14) time of 1:04.74 and 968 points secured her the silver medal and was well inside the consideration standard for the 2018 European Championships in Dublin.

In the national Women’s MC Backstroke, Brock Whiston (S10) of Barking and Dagenham took the title with a points total of 611.

S14 swimmer Jordan Catchpole led from start to finish as he won gold in the Men’s MC 100m Backstroke, ahead of Brazil’s Italo Pereira (S7), who was second, and Oliver Hynd (S9), who took the bronze.

He finished with a total of 874 points while his time of 1:01.88 was just under a second inside the Dublin 2018 qualification standard.

Catchpole said: “It’s what you train for and I couldn’t be on the podium with two better people, so I wanted to say congratulations to them.

“My plan was to go out fairly quickly and unleash the beast, as my coaches say, after the turn.”

Robinson ‘swimming well’

Ellie Robinson (S6) successfully defended her Women’s MC 50m Butterfly title as she clocked 35.93 to take the gold medal.

Robinson’s time was inside the qualifying time for Dublin and she said: “I’m really pleased that I’m still swimming well after the Commonwealth Games.

“Right now I think it’s about making targets and working towards them. I’m working towards the Europeans and I’m looking ahead to that now.”

In the Women’s MC 100m Butterfly, Jessica-Jane Applegate (S14) clocked 1:04.80 to go under the World Para Swimming European qualifying time and seal her first gold of week with a final score of 984 points.

“I was 1/10th off my PB so I am a little bit gutted but I was inside the European qualifying time so am pleased with that,” said Applegate.

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe (S10) took silver behind Applegate with 903 points, while Britain’s Bethany Firth’s time of 1:06.80 ensured she won the bronze medal with 898 points.

Andrew Mullen (S5) claimed bronze in the Men’s MC 50m Butterfly for his first medal of the meet, behind the Colombian duo of Carlos Serrano Zarate (S7) and Nelson Crispin (S6).

Megan Neave (S14) of the City of Derby swimming club topped the pile in the Women’s MC 100m Butterfly final with a time of 1:23.89 and 453 points.