More swimming success as GB add five medals to the Paralympic tallyAugust 31, 2021
There was more record-breaking swims from the British athletes as the team won five medals across four finals at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Day seven proved to be a successful one in the pool, with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals won.
Reece Dunn made it a hat-trick of gold medals and four overall as he broke another world record in the Men’s SM14 200m Individual Medley final.
His time of 2:08.02 was 0.14 better than the previous world best. The Plymouth Leander swimmer still has one event remaining – the Men’s S14 100m Backstroke.
Firth and Fiddes both on the podium
It was a British 2-3-4 in the Women’s SM14 200m Individual Medley final as Bethany Firth and Louise Fiddes finished in podium places.
Firth took second place in a time of 2:23.19 to add another silver to her S14 200m Freestyle medal.
The battle for bronze was fought between GB teammates Fiddes and Jessica-Jane Applegate, but it was Fiddes who touched first in 2:29.21. Applegate clocked a time of 2:30.43 to secure fourth place.
Firth explained that her medal was to some extent unexpected, saying: “Her [Shabalina’s] IM is definitely one of her strongest strokes and because I haven’t trained it I didn’t expect much.
“To come out with a silver medal and see Louise get a bronze – it was a great night, so I’m just looking forward to Thursday.”
In a message to her family, she added: “I miss them so much. They’re always there supporting me and I wish they could be here as well but I can’t wait to go home and give them a big hug.”
After being disqualified from her heat race and later reinstated following an appeal, Fiddes said: “I totally counted myself out.
“I was disappointed not to be in the final but the British Swimming guys – they put in an appeal and I got to swim in the final so – absolutely incredible.
“I can’t believe I get to take home another medal to my family.”
British record bronze for Clegg
Stephen Clegg set a new British record and personal best time in the Men’s S12 100m Freestyle final, clocking in at 53.43 seconds.
His freestyle bronze goes alongside his backstroke bronze, which he won on day three of the Games.
Clegg’s favoured event is still to come, as he explains ‘this whole meet has been about the fly’. The 25-year-old will compete in the Men’s S12 100m Butterfly later in the week.
After his swim, he said: “That one was pretty unexpected. I knew it was going to be a tough race with a lot of fast guys around me in that event.
“I said this morning I wanted to take it out hard and see where I could improve in the final, I got a bit more out of it so I’m really pleased. It’s a PB, so you can’t ask for more than that.
“This whole meet has been about the fly, everything else is a bonus for me. Two PBs in two events so far, that is setting me up well for Friday night and I’m really looking forward to facing these guys again then, they’re amazing competitors and I’m loving this whole experience.”
Russell ‘really happy’ with bronze
Hannah Russell added a bronze medal to her gold as she finished third in the Women’s S12 100m Freestyle final.
Her time of 1:00.25 was an improvement on her heats time and was just 1.24 behind the gold medallist, Maria Carolina Gomes Santiago of Brazil (59.01). Daria Pikalova of the Russian Paralympic Committee finished in second.
Russell described the felling as ‘incredible’. She said: “Overall, I’m really happy with that race, I went so much quicker than this morning. To get a bronze medal is incredible.
“I don’t know where people are in the race peripherally, so it was literally me against the clock.
“I tried my absolute hardest to stay under the water, do a really strong turn and that helped me get a bronze medal, so I’m really happy.”
Shaw so close to podium finish
Toni Shaw finished just 0.03 outside of a podium place in the Women’s S9 100m Freestyle final.
It was an extremely close finish between Shaw and Brazil’s Mariana Ribeiro but the Brit just missed out despite a superb swim and a time of 1:03.42.
On the result, she said: “Nobody likes to come fourth but it’s such a competitive race, there was loads of heats in the morning and just to make it through to the final and come fourth I’m still really happy.
“Obviously a bit disappointed but it is what it is. It was quite a good time, I’ve been mostly training for the 400 so I knew after that it was going to be hard to go down to a sprint event so it was ok.”