Medaltastic curtain closer for GB

18 Sep 2016

ParalympicsGB ruled in the pool on the final night of action in the Olympic Aquatics Centre with the swimmers adding nine medals to their ever-growing tally.

Bethany Firth ensured a golden finish to the night as she headlined a British one-two in the 200m individual medley SM14 final, with teammate Jessica-Jane Applegate clinching silver.

Firth broke her own Paralympic record with a time of 2:19.55 to win her third gold medal of the Games, and her fourth of any colour in Rio, while Applegate touched the wall in 2:27.58 to secure medal number three of her own.

Firth said: “It’s a great way to end the Games and ParalympicsGB just smashed it out of the water tonight.

“There was a little bit of pressure to finish on a high so I’m happy I did that.”

Applegate added: “I’m really pleased with that performance, the individual medley isn’t my strongest event. I’m actually quite emotional about it.

“I really wanted a gold medal but I’m going to come back, it’s given me that hunger that I needed.”

Moments earlier, it was silver medal number two for Thomas Hamer in the pool as he finished second in the SM14 200m individual medley with a new British record.

The 18-year-old, who won 200m freestyle silver on Sunday, clocked 2:12.88 as Marc Evers of the Netherlands set a new Paralympic record of 2:10.29 to clinch gold.

He said: “I’m so happy with two silver medals at my first Paralympic Games, I can’t ask for more than that and I’m so chuffed.

“My family are the greatest support and I love my coach to bits. I can’t wait to get back on the podium now, but I need to do my hair and look glamorous.”

It had rained medals from the very first final of the night for ParalympicsGB as Ellie Robinson set a new British record en route to clinching bronze in the 100m freestyle S6, her second medal of the Games.

Robinson, just 15 years of age, won 50m butterfly gold last Friday, and clocked 1:14.43 to win bronze tonight with teammate Ellie Simmonds finishing in fifth position.

Oliver Hynd continued his dominance of the 200m individual medley SM8 as he smashed through the world record to retain his Paralympic title.

Hynd, also the reigning World, European and Commonwealth champion in the event, stopped the clock in 2:20.01 to win his second gold medal of the Rio Games.

He said: “I’ve been chasing that world record for a while and to get it here is just incredible. It’s the biggest stage of all, I’m a bit lost for words.

“I’m really proud, I wanted to come in and smash my best times and I have. I hope that some kids are at home watching this and are inspired by that.”

It was gold too for Hannah Russell as she won her second of the Games with a time of 27.53 in the 50m freestyle S12.

And the medal run continued as Stephanie Millward won silver in the 200m individual medley SM8.

Proving age is but a number, 34-year-old Millward, the oldest swimmer in the final by seven years, touched the wall in 2:43.03 behind the USA’s Jessica Long to win her fifth medal of the Games.

She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve got two golds, a silver and two bronzes and I’ve loved these Games, they have been fantastic.”

And at the opposite end of the age spectrum, ParalympicsGB’s youngest competitor Abby Kane made it a Paralympic Games she will never forget as she secured 100m backstroke S13 silver, while elsewhere, Andrew Mullen picked up a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle S5, his third medal of the Games.

ParalympicsGB's swimmers finish the meet on 47 medals - 16 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze.