Solid swimming secures seven finals

13 Sep 2016

A strong set of performances on day six of the Paralympic Games see ParalympicsGB secure seven Rio 2016 finals berth.

A dominant start in the pool for ParalympicsGB as Rio 2016 Paralympic Champions Ellie Simmonds and Ellie Robinson guaranteed finals berths in the Women’s S6 400m Freestyle after a British one-two in their heat.

Simmonds said: “That was a decent heat swim. I'm quite pleased with that. It can be hard work to race again the next day after winning but I went back to the apartment and focused on what I had to do today. 

“It's a tight field in the 400m free and I'm going to prepare the best I can for that final. I’m really looking forward to racing her, it’s going to be such a tough race.”

Robinson said: “It’s one of my bonus events, if I can pick up a medal on the way that would be great, I’m just going to give it everything and see how it goes.”

The British pair will go up against the reigning World champion Yelyzaveta Mereshko of Ukraine in tonights final.

Oliver Hynd, gold medallist at the Rio 2016 games already, lined up in the Men’s S8 100m backstroke final.

He posted a time of 1:06.12 to take the touch in his heat and safely progressed through to the final as the third fastest.

Hynd said: “It was comfortable, the goal going in was to make it through to the final.

“It’s going to be a tough race tonight, it’s going to be close but I’m looking forward to it. You want a PB, that’s what each race should be about, but I’ve come here to try and touch the wall first in all my races, I want to win so I’m going to do my best to do that.

“Yesterday night was a great final session with three golds, so hopefully we can keep that momentum going for the rest of the meet.”

A Paralympic record and another British one-two came in the third heat of the Women’s S8 100m Backstroke from Steph Millward and Stepha Slater

Millward was the fastest overall qualifier with the new games record of 1:13.75 and she will take the centre lane in the final later today.

Millward said: “It went very well it went better than expected.

“I was told by my coach to go really slow, take it easy and enjoy the race, but I went out incredibly hard - 1:13, don’t ask me why.

“I did enjoy the race, I was just enjoying swimming and when you enjoy something you go really very fast.

“I got out at the end with a massive smile on my face, it was crazy, so hopefully I will swim faster tonight and do a nice time, we’ll see what happens.”

Slater touched home behind her teammate and posted a time of 1:20.17.

Matt Wylie and Ryan Crouch were back in action as they went in the Men’s S9 50m Freestyle both winning their respective heats.

Wylie was the fastest swimmer over the three heats, his time of 25.99 will see him lead the field into the final.

Matt said: “It wasn’t the perfect swim. I know there are a lot of areas I can improve on. My dive, my breathing, they were a little bit off, so definitely a lot more to come this afternoon.

Crouch will join his compatriot in the medal decider of the S9 50m Free as the seventh fastest qualifier with a time of 26.54.

Alice Tai took to the pool for her third event of the Paralympics, this time in the Women’s S10 100m Freestyle.

She posted a new personal best time of 1:04.32 and after three heats she was ranked 11th and just missed out on a finals berth.

The final swimmer of day six heats for ParalympicsGB was Rio 2016 medallist Amy Marren. She went in the Women’s S9 50m Freestyle, a time of 30.80 ranked her 12th overall leaving her outside the qualifying spots for the final.