Simmonds seals final with record

12 Sep 2016

Triple Paralympian Eleanor Simmonds booked a lane in the SM6 200m Individual Medley final as she posted a new Paralympic record of 3:02.40.

Simmonds was unchallenged throughout the heats swim as she broke away from the field and secured lane four for the medal decider against Ukrainian and S6 rival Yelyzaveta Mereshko.

She said:“I was really shocked by that time but it's going to be a very tough race in the final.

“Seeing my team-mates do so well always spurs you on but my focus is on personal bests and medals would be a bonus. I’ve already achieved my dream of winning four Paralympic titles.”

The youngest member of ParalympicsGB, Abby Kane, made her Paralympic Games debut today as she went in the Women’s S13 400m Freestyle.

Kane posted a new personal best time of 4:52.35 to qualify seventh fastest for the final later.

Susannah Rodgers, who already has a bronze in the 50m freestyle, clocked 36.02 seconds to make the women’s 50m butterfly S7 final as the second quickest qualifier. She said:

“That was a good quick swim and I backed off a little bit in the last 25 metres to save something back and that’s a good sign for the final.”

Andrew Mullen was sixth fastest in the men’s 50m freestyle S5 heats in a time of 35.75 secs while Brazil’s Daniel Dias will be the one to beat in the final. Mullen said:

“That was a solid swim, I can’t remember going faster in a heat and I’m sure I’ll be able to go quicker in the final. I’m just looking for a lifetime best and hopefully that will get me a medal.”

Abby Kane celebrated her 13th birthday last month and today was celebrating making the final of the 400m freestyle S13, taking a second off her personal best to make the final as seventh fastest qualifier in 4:52.23. She said: “It’s just so pleased to make the final, I just wanted a personal best and it’s an amazing feeling to get to swim again.

“My main aim is to Tokyo, that’s when I’ll be performing at my best, so this is just a massive bonus.”

Alice Tai, two days after winning 100m backstroke bronze, made the women’s 100m butterfly S10 final in the eighth and final qualifying place after clocking 1:12.98.

But Stephen Clegg, whose sister Libby and brother James are both Paralympic medalists, just failed to make his final after making his Games debut in the 400m freestyle S13.

Clegg admitted a shoulder niggle had been plaguing his training and he clocked 4:23.07 to rank ninth in qualifying, missing final progress by just over three seconds.

Elsewhere, Lewis White, Ryan Crouch and Matthew Wylie were tenth, 13th and 16th quickest in the men’s 100m freestyle S9 heats, with only the top eight making tonight’s final.

Amy Marren’s time of 1:05.63 also didn’t secure progression to the women’s 100m freestyle S9 final as the 200m medley bronze medallists ranked tenth.

And there was disappointment for Sascha Kindred, who is appearing at his sixth Games in Rio, after the 38-year old was disqualified in his 200m medley SM6 heat.