Rio rains medals on day four in the pool

12 Sep 2016

The medal rush resumed for  ParalympicsGB on the fourth night of swimming at Rio 2016 as seven medals were won including gold for Bethany Firth.

Firth continued her golden Rio 2016 as she set a new Paralympic record on the way to winning the women’s 200m freestyle S14 final – one of seven swimming medals won by ParalympicsGB on Sunday night.

Fresh from setting a new Paralympic record of 2:05.96 in the heats, Seaforde’s Firth lowered the time once more in the final to 2:03.30 to take gold ahead of teammate and London 2012 champion Jessica-Jane Applegate.

Firth, who successfully defended her 100m backstroke S14 title at the start of the Games in Rio, said: “It means so much, especially after being injured last year. I knew I had to step up my game if I was going to come here and do something.

“You just never know when it comes to me. I really wasn’t feeling very well this morning but it just shows how well ParalympicsGB supported me and got me ready for tonight.

“I wouldn’t have got that gold if she (Jessica-Jane Applegate) hadn’t been there pushing me on.”

Rebecca Redfern swam a two-second personal best of 1:13.81 to take silver in the 100m breaststroke SB13.

The 16-year-old Droitwich swimmer in fact swam inside the world record but she was beaten to gold by Uzbekistan's 17-year-old Fotimakhon Amilova in 1:12.45.

She said: “I didn’t expect a time that quick but I knew there would be competition in the final.

“I can’t really put it into words, I’m so overwhelmed with everything, it’s been an amazing experience.  Being a youngster coming in early to the Paralympic Games, it’s a good foundation to start on.

“This is definitely just the start for me. We’re doing really well as a team, I’ll be up in the stands cheering everyone on.”

There was also a 200m freestyle S14 silver for 18-year-old Paralympic debutant Tom Hamer, of Rawtenstall, as he touched the wall in 1:56.58 behind Hong Kong’s Tang Wai Lok in a new Paralympic record of 1:56.32.

The reigning European champion said: “I’m really happy with that. I came in here to win it so I’m happy and disappointed though.

“It’s fingertips away from gold. I’m going to keep working hard, I want to win.

“I’m in the best shape of my life so far, I’m only 18, I’ve got a couple more years to come and hopefully going forward my rivals won’t be anywhere near me.”

The first ParalympicsGB medal of the night went to Amy Marren who took bronze in the 200m individual medley SM9 final.

The 2013 World and 2014 European champion had been lying in second going into the close stages behind eventual winner Lin Ping of China but was pipped to the wall by Spain’s Sarai Gascon.

It was still a first Paralympic medal for the 18-year-old with Claire Cashmore coming home eighth in 2:38.34.

Marren, who swam 2:36.26, said: “It’s been a long four years and a lot of up and downs so to be in the top three tonight, I can’t stop crying.

“This year I’ve found my love for swimming again and I think that’s why I was able to swim to a medal. There was a lot of self-doubt, I don’t know how I managed to do it but I’m here with a bronze medal.

There was also a bronze for Josef Craig in the men’s 100m freestyle S8 final as he touched in 58.19 seconds behind Chinese champion Wang Yinan while teammate Oliver Hynd was fourth in 58.85.

And the final Brit to go, Corsham’s Stephanie Millward, similarly picked up a bronze in the women’s 100m freestyle S8 final to add to the bronze already won in the 400m freestyle S8.

Elsewhere City of Sheffield swimmer James Crisp finished seventh in the 200m individual medley SM9 in a time of 2:24.96 with victory going to Italy’s Federico Morlacchi in 2:16.72.

And Harriet Lee finished in the same place in the women’s 200m medley SM10 final in 2:34.91 while New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe claimed her second gold of the week in a new world record.