Tully's freestyle hat-trick rounds off successful Para Swimming World ChampsJune 18, 2022
Record-breaking Tully Kearney secured a hat-trick of freestyle gold medals and a third new world best to round off a hugely successful World Para Swimming Championships for Great Britain.
The 25-year-old knocked more than a second off her previous world best time in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S5 final with another hugely-impressive swim.
After winning gold in both the 50m and 200m Freestyle S5 finals in new world record times, Kearney looked determined to complete the treble.
She was inside world record pace at the halfway stage as she turned in 35.21, 5.11 clear of her nearest rival.
There was no doubt about who was going to top the podium and all that was to be determined was whether Kearney could set another record.
And she did that in style, touching home in 1:13.34 to knock 1.05 off the previous best she set at the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games last August.
Kearney said: “It’s completely unreal, I don’t think anyone was expecting that so I’m kind of speechless but extremely happy.
“Spending some time in Loughborough temporarily five weeks before worlds was a tough decision but it’s made a massive difference and a happy swimmer is always going to swim fast so it gives me a lot to think about going forward.”
Brits double up
Britain claimed two more medals in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S14.
Jessica-Jane Applegate took silver, with Poppy Maskill winning bronze in a race won by Australia’s Paige Leonhardt.
Applegate and Leonhardt were neck and neck at the 50m stage with only 0.14 seconds separating them.
However, Leonhardt stretched away in the final few metres and set a new Oceanic record as she touched home in 1:05.27.
That was 1.34 ahead of Applegate, whose time of 1:06.61 was 0.66 clear of her compatriot Maskill.
Seventeen-year-old Maskill was fifth at the turn but produced a stunning second 50m to take the final place on the podium.
Louis Fiddes finished in fifth place in 1:08.97.
Fourth medal for Ellie
Ellie Challis claimed her fourth individual medal of the championships as she took second in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S3 final in a new British record time.
The 18-year-old clocked 1:50.04 to finish 12.64 seconds behind America’s gold-medal winner, Leanne Smith.
That was 4.80 seconds quicker than her previous best of 1:54.84 that she set on her way to fourth place in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Challis said: “I’m so exhausted after this week.
“It’s been a long one for me as I’ve never raced this much at a major before but a great swim to end it on and I really seen from this competition that my freestyle has progressed massively.
“I knew I was ranking well in all my events but you never know who is going to turn up, who is newly classified and how tired you’d get through the week so I’ve managed it well but I’ll be glad of a rest now it’s over.”
Dunn bags silver
Reece Dunn was the silver medallist in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S14 final.
He had qualified second fastest behind Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira and was only 0.44 behind after the opening 50m.
However, Bandeira opened up an advantage as he pushed for home and despite Dunn’s best efforts, he couldn’t reel him in and had to settle for second place.
The 26-year-old’s time was 56.85 which was 1.83 behind Bandeira.
Lyndon Longhorne finished his hectic schedule with seventh spot in the Men’s 200m Freestyle S4 final after clocking 3:29.36.
It was a strong finish from Longhorne who was determined to ensure he improved his ranking and didn’t finish in last place.
He said: “I saw the guy coming up on me the last length and I was like ‘I am not having this’.”
Northampton Swimming Club’s Eliza Humphrey was eighth in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S11 in a time of 6:05.84.
The 17-year-old was 1.41 second quicker than her qualifying time of 6:07.25.
Her twin sister, Scarlett, was the reserve for the final after finishing ninth in the heat in a time of 6:14.28.