Positive British performances on day one of the Para Swimming World Series produced one gold, three silver and two bronze medals across Women’s and Men’s MC 200m Individual Medley and MC 100m Freestyle events in Aberdeen.
The medley events produced a strong haul of four medal with Brock Whiston (S8) and Toni Shaw (S9) respectively sharing the women’s podium in silver and bronze, shortly before Cameron Vearncombe (S14) and Rhys Darbey (S14) repeated the feat in the men’s event.
For Whiston, the silver medal was a pleasant bonus to the process of mover her time on significantly from heats to final in the MC 200m Individual Medley as builds into the season, commenting:
“For me this meet was about getting classification out of the way and seeing where I am at the start of the season. To go five seconds quicker than this morning is a massive positive as I’m really looking forward preparing for April’s Championships in London, a home pool for me and a big year ahead.”
“I’ve still got the 400m free to come - it’s a newer event for me and I just want to see where I can take it, so excited for that on Saturday.”
A bronze in her home pool left Shaw happy too, as she added:
“To be racing here, it’s such an amazing pool that I get to train in all the time and it’s just so special to be here, with friends and family watching. It is kind of strange because when you’re at a different pool it feel like it’s time to race, so this takes a bit of getting used to but overall it’s such a great experience.”
Vearncombe led the British charge in the men’s event taking the pace out hard and giving himself a second and a half lead heading into the final freestyle length to come into the finish ahead of the 2023 world championship silver medallist, Darbey.
Happy with his effort against the clock, Vearncombe’s 905 multi-classification point score was only bettered by Dutch S11 swimmer, Rogier Dorsman, who would stand between the British pair on the podium.
“I’m really pleased with my process there and the time alongside that – it’s something I’ve worked on a lot with Aled [Davies].” said Vearncombe,
“I’ve got the 100m Breaststroke and 100m Fly over the next few days and this silver is a nice start.”
Britain’s first gold of the World Series opener came courtesy of a lifetime best swim from William Ellard (S14) in the Men’s MC 100m Freestyle – and while not an individual Paralympic event in the S14 class does form part of the relay opportunity in which Great Britain currently hold both the World and Paralympic crowns.
“I’ve had great swimming meets over the past few weekends and so it’s great getting in the rounds of racing while not tapered early in the season.” said Ellard,
“I’m quite happy with that as it’s a 0.2 second PB as well as that World Series gold.”
It was a silver medal for Poppy Maskill (S14) in the respective women’s A final. Having led the race in the pool from start to finish, with Canadian S10 swimmer Aurelie Rivard chasing her around the walls, Maskill’s time was subsequently converted to a points score of 842 to place her in the silver medal position behind Rivard for the first World Series podium of the night.
Away from the medal’s the Aberdeen pool proved to be a fast one for Scarlett Humphrey as she lowered the S11 British records in both the women’s 100m Freestyle (1:10.62) and 200m Individual Medley (2:49.89) twice in one day.
Commenting on the produce of her busy session, Humphrey said:
“I want to swim fast and it’s all just very exciting - I’m very happy really as you don’t expect it when we’re in heavy training at the moment leading into trials. I raced last week at the county championships so it was just about coming here and seeing how well I could go.”
“Aberdeen seems to be a fast pool for me – it’s where I
qualified for my first world championships in 2022 and I like this pool.”
The close of the session saw two exhibition
relay with Grace Harvey, Tomas Navarro-Barber, Toni Shaw and Oliver Carter combining
in the Mixed 34pt 4x100m Freestyle, while Scarlett Humphrey, Alfie Penfold,
Eliza Humphrey and Matthew Redfern practiced their takeovers in the Mixed 49pt 4x100m