Great Britain’s swimmers double Paralympic medal tally on day three

Five medals from the pool on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw Great Britain’s swimmers double their medal tally so far.

It was golden glory for both Hannah Russell and Reece Dunn in their respective events, with Bethany Firth claiming the only GB silver medal of the day.

The British action started and ended with bronze medals, firstly through Stephen Clegg and then Jessica-Jane Applegate joined Firth on the podium in the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle.

Dunn’s world record-breaking swim means he now has two of those medals, after adding gold to his opening day silver.

After his race, he admitted that he used the disappointment of missing out on gold the first time around to motivate him in the Men’s S14 200m Freestyle final.

The Plymouth Leander swimmer beat his previous world record by 0.56 to finish on top of the podium in a time of 1:52.40.

GB teammate Jordan Catchpole was not far outside of his personal best in the same race. His time of 1:56.33 saw him finish in fifth place.

Russell retains Paralympic title

Russell made it back-to-back Paralympic titles after she successfully defended her S12 100m Backstroke crown.

The 25-year-old explained that it was a ‘dream come true’ to win another Paralympic gold medal after having ‘a few difficult years’ as she battled with her mental health.

Russell swam a time of 1:08.44 and following her win she sent a message to everyone watching – ‘never give up on your dreams’.

Two medals in women’s freestyle final

ParalympicsGB had not one, but two athletes on the podium from the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle final.

Firth finished in the silver medal position after touching the wall in 2:03.99, just 0.28 behind the eventual gold medal winner – Valeriia Shabalina of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

After her race, Firth said: “It was a really good race, I love when races are so close.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the touch but after the year I’ve had I’m so happy with that and I can’t wait for all the races to come.

“After this year, I just decided that I wanted to swim for fun so I’m going to see how my times are and then I’m so excited to get back into proper training and hopefully go to Paris.”

Taking bronze in a season’s best time was City of Norwich’s Applegate. Her time of 2:09.53 was enough to beat fellow Briton Louise Fiddes, who finished fourth in 2:11.20.

Applegate dedicated her medal to her friends, family and coach, saying: “I came out with the mission of getting a medal so I’m super pleased with that.

“It’s faster than this morning, it’s another season’s best, can’t describe the pain that I was in in the last 50 but I wasn’t going to let that go to anyone else.

“To be able to pick up my first medal of this Games considering everything that I’ve been through and actually I’m going to say it now, I really want to dedicate this to my friends and family and my coach because I would not have been here without them – I really wouldn’t.

“I was on the phone to my coach just before, back in England, the support he has given me – I’ve phoned him crying many times the weeks before and I’m just so grateful that he’s been able to help me through everything.”

Bronze in the backstroke

A bronze medal from Clegg in the Men’s S12 100m Backstroke final was the first race of the finals session and set the team on their way.

Clegg swam a new lifetime best and set a new British record of 1:01.27, finishing just behind Ukraine’s Sergii Klippert who took silver, with Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei winning gold.