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Matt Wylie lands first Paralympic gold on day six in Rio

Swimming News

Matt Wylie stormed to his first Paralympic gold with an historic victory in the S9 50m Freestyle on day six at Rio 2016.

On a night in which Steph Millward also won a maiden Paralympic crown and Ellie Simmonds grabbed her second medal in as many days, Wylie’s victory took the British gold medal tally to nine.

The 19-year old went into the 50m Free as the fastest qualifier from the heats, but when the finals race came, it was anyone’s to win.

But the Brit powered home from lane four to take the touch in 25.95 ahead of Australia’s Timothy Disken (25.99) and Japan’s Takuro Yamada (26.00).

Sunderland Paralympic swimmer Wylie took any pressure he was feeling in his stride. His victory saw him become the first British Paralympic medallist in the men’s S9 50m Freestyle since the modern classification system was introduced in 1992.

“After this morning I wasn’t sure if winning was possible,” said Wylie. “But it just shows that anything is possible at the Paralympic Games.

“It’s been a bit of a wait for me, seeing everyone do well. Gold medals have been won all week and just knowing that my chance was coming, then not swimming as well as I’d have liked this morning, I thought ‘hmm’. But then I got in tonight and just gave everything there.

“I’ve only been really focused on the 50m for one season. Two years ago I was mainly a 400m guy and I can’t believe the progress I have made in a year.”

Competing in his first Paralympic final, Team Ipswich swimmer Ryan Crouch finished eighth behind Wylie in 26.76.

Ollie Hynd takes silver in 100m Back

Ollie Hynd of Nova Centurion claimed his second medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with silver in the S8 100m Backstroke.

He had already notched his belt with gold in the S8 400M Freestyle on the opening day and landed a fifth Paralympic medal with his 100m Backstroke result.

While China’s Zhou Cong set a world record 1:02.90 for gold, Hynd lowered his own three-year old British record to 1:04.46 for silver.

The 21-year old’s old British record had been a 1:05.10 effort from the 2013 IPC World Championships in Montreal.

Hynd said: “I’m definitely in the form of my life. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get the gold but it took a world record to beat me.

“I can honestly say I left everything in the pool tonight and that’s as fast as I could possibly have gone, so I’ve got to be happy with that silver.

“Over the last four years me and my coach Glenn [Smith] have gone about working on the backstroke a bit more than some other people realise.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself tonight so I’m happy to swim a PB and win a silver medal.”

Image credit: SwPix