Para Swimming World Series 2019, Berlin
Great Britain’s para-swimmers enjoyed spectacular medal success at the Para-swimming World Series finale in Berlin and breaking several world records in the process.
Great Britain’s swimmers broke European and world records on a successful opening day at the Para Swimming World Series finale in Berlin.
Brock Whiston, of Barking and Dagenham Aquatics Club, won silver in the multi-class Women’s 100m Breaststroke final, touching the wall in an SB8 world record time of 1:14.41. Whiston, who had initially broken the world record in the heats, looks in fine form as she builds towards her World Championships debut in Korea later this year.
“Even in the swim down pool, in warm ups, I feel faster than I’ve ever felt,” she said. “I’ve got a new mindset now and being on the GB team has really helped.”
She was joined on the podium by Northampton Swimming Club’s Maisie Summers-Newton, who won bronze in 1:33.49 to set a new SB6 European record. That result continues a standout season for Summers-Newton, who was shortlisted for the International Paralympic Committee’s athlete of the month award in April, having set a new 200m Individual Medley world record at the World Series in Glasgow.
Alice Tai’s stellar season got even better as she won gold and silver to add to her increasing international medal haul. The Ealing SC swimmer set a new S8 European record of 2:17.93 to finish second in the multi class Women’s 200m Freestyle final, one point behind Canada’s triple swimming Paralympic champion Aurelie Rivard who had finished second to Tai in Glasgow by the same margin. Tai returned to the pool just minutes later, sealing gold in the Women’s 100m Butterfly in 1:09.07.
Great Britain also claimed silver in that event as S9 swimmer Toni Shaw finished in 1:08.18 for 937 points, while City of Norwich’s Jessica-Jane Applegate was fifth.
Plymouth Leander’s Reece Dunn has certainly made his mark in his debut World Series campaign and he added another S14 world record to his tally. World Championships-bound Dunn (914 points) won bronze in the Men’s 200m Freestyle, with a new world’s record time of 1:53.57. Ihar Boki (Belarus, 968), the current Paralympic, world and European champion, also clocked a new world record. Gold went to Ami Omer Dadaon (Israel, 981 points)
Day 1 Finals
Alice Tai broke another world record as she struck gold again at the Para-Swimming World Series in Germany – only minutes after winning a silver medal.Following on from her opening day triumph in the Women’s 100m Butterfly, Tai topped the podium in the 50m Backstroke. But there was little time for her to prepare as that race took place after she had just finished second in the Women’s 100m Freestyle.
She said: “I’m not sure [how I did that] as I’d just jumped out the 100m free. My heart rate was over the roof already.”
Tai’s S8 time in the multi-class race was 31.01 which earned her 985 points – three clear of Russia’s Anna Krivshina whose S12 time of 31.00 scored 982 points.
Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto won the bronze with her S9 time of 32.92 gaining her a total of 881.
In the 100m Freestyle, Tai took joint second alongside Canada’s Aurelie Rivard. Netherlands’ Liesette Bruinsma (S11) finished in 1:06.55 to take the gold medal with a score of 937. Tai’s time of 1:04.3 was enough for 877 points – the same total as S10 swimmer Rivard who clocked 1:00.01.
Britain’s Jessica-Jane Applegate (S14) scored 838 points after she clocked a time of 59.25 which saw her finish in seventh spot.
Reece Dunn also claimed a gold medal in Berlin with victory in the Men’s 100m Freestyle. Plymouth Leander’s Dunn, who won bronze on the opening day as he set a new S14 world record of 1:53.57 in the Men’s 200m Freestyle, led at the halfway stage and touched home first in 51.52. That earned him 952 points and put him ahead of Greece’s Dimosthenis Michalentzakis (S8), who scored 855 for his time of 58.32.
Israel’s Ami Omer Dadaon was the bronze medallist as his S4 time of 1:28.27 secured him 39 points.
Britain’s Louis Lawlor (S14) was eighth after gaining 756 points for his time of 55.62.
Day 2 Finals
Great Britain’s swimmers tore up the record books on their way to five medals during another successful night at the Para-swimming World Series in Germany. Ellie Simmonds, Reece Dunn and Brock Whiston all topped the podium, while Maisie Summers-Newton and Alice Tai also added to the medal haul. Dunn, Tai and Whiston also set new world records as Team GB laid down a marker ahead of the World Championships in London this September.
Simmonds (S6) claimed her first gold of the event in Berlin as she edged out her team-mate Summers-Newton (S6) in the Women’s 400m Freestyle. In a thrilling race, Simmonds touched home in 5:21.98, 2.02 seconds ahead of Summers-Newton, to earn a total of 944 points.
Summers-Newton clocked 5:24.00 to take the silver with a score of 929. America’s Mckenzie Coan (S7) was the bronze medallist as her time of 5:11.06 earned 906 points.
Simmonds was quick to praise Summers-Newton and said it was pleasing to see the next generation making their mark ahead of a busy year.
“Maisie is doing incredible things in the IM, the breaststroke and the 100m free,” she said. “She is a multi-talented woman and it’s great for Paralympic sport, and especially Great Britain, to have the likes of her, Ellie Robinson, Jordan Catchpole and all those youngsters coming through. They are the next generation and ones to watch in Tokyo next year.”
Summers-Newton added: “I have always aspired to Ellie and to talk to her and race against her is amazing.”
Whiston (SB8) believed altering her warm-up in the morning had a big impact as she won gold in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke. She set a new world record of 34.12 for 1,114 points.
Whiston said: “We had a massive change in warm-up and it clearly worked. Leading onto the Worlds, it’s a big confidence boost.”
Germany’s Elena Krawzow (SB12) was second with 1,070 points for her world record time of 34.11, while Russia’s Mariia Latritskaia (SB12) took bronze after clocking 34.21 for 1,060 points.
Reece Dunn won his third medal of the competition – and second gold – as he triumphed in the Men’s 50m Freestyle. The S14 swimmer clocked 23.62 to earn 875 points and finish above Russia’s Kirill Belousov (S11), who recorded 26.47 for 820 points and Estonia’s Matz Topkin (S4) who scored 801 for his time of 40.26.
Tai (S8) said she was in shock after breaking the 29-second barrier in the Women’s 50m Freestyle for the first time in her career. It was her fourth world record of the week and her time of 28.97 earned a total of 908 points and the bronze medal.
She said: “I couldn’t see my time and then saw I had gone sub 29. My previous PB was 29.43. I’m in shock. I feel like I’m going to cry but I can’t stop smiling.”
Holland’s Liesette Bruinsma (S11) took the gold medal in 30.37 for 946 points, while Russia’s Anna Krivshina (S12) won silver with 914 points for her time of 27.26.
Great Britain’s Alice Tai capped off a spectacular week at the Para-swimming World Series finale, winning two gold medals and breaking another world record on the closing night in Berlin. The Ealing swimmer has made a series of statements in the German capital as she prepares for the World Championships in London in September.
Tai became the first S8 swimmer to break the 29-second barrier in the Women’s 50m Freestyle on Saturday, her fourth world record in just three days. She again set a new benchmark on Sunday, winning her Women’s 50m Butterfly heat in a world record time of 30.67s. Tai then began the evening session by winning gold in the Women’s 100m Backstroke, before finishing fifth in a gruelling Women’s 200m Individual Medley final.
The 20-year-old left her best until last, lowering her earlier world record to 30.62s to claim gold in the 50m Butterfly, taking her medal haul for the meet to six and her world record tally to seven.
Meanwhile, Paralympic swimmer Stephen Clegg won silver in the Men’s 50m Butterfly. The 20-year-old touched the wall in 25.51s for a total of 968 points.
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