After a brilliant opening two days of action at the World Para Swimming World Series finale in Berlin, the British team turned up the heat on their rivals as they took four of the six gold medals on offer on night three.
Alice Tai continued her sensational form as she not only struck gold but broke the S8 Women’s 50m Freestyle world record, the first woman ever to dip inside 29 seconds. It is rare you see an athlete so surprised with what they’ve just achieved, but that was the case for Tai.
“I couldn’t see my time until it came up on the other screen and then I saw that I’d gone sub 29! My PB before that was 29.43 so I’m in shock – I feel like I’m going to cry.”
Ellie Simmonds grabbed her first gold of the World Para Swimming World Series finale with a blistering 400m freestyle performance in the German capital to round out GB’s most successful day in the pool so far, as she won the fourth and final gold on the night.
The five-time Paralympic champion topped the podium, leading a British 1-2 after she and Maisie Summers-Newton went head-to-head for the entirety of the race, the 24-year-old getting the better of her teenage compatriot for gold.
The Women’s 50m Breaststroke was undoubtedly the race of the night however, as three World and three European records were broken, 50% of those by Brits. Leading the way was Brock Whiston, who stuck gold in a new SB8 world record time of 34.12, her second world record of the week.
Afterwards, Whiston divulged:
“We made a massive change to my warm up this morning and it clearly worked. Leading on to Worlds it definitely gives me a confidence boost.”
There were also personal bests and European record swims for Maisie Summers-Newton and Rebecca Redfern in fifth and eighth respectively, the former swimming an SB6 best of 43.37, whilst Redfern, an S13, delivered a swift 34.14 time.
Reece Dunn claimed his third medal of the meet and further underlined his status as one of the rising stars of para-swimming as he powered to gold in the Men’s 50m Freestyle, his second gold of the weekend. Elsewhere S9 Lewis White finished fifth in the Men’s 400m Freestyle final, his 4.24.97 time good for 839 points.
Earlier in the day, Toni Shaw struck gold in the Women’s 200m Butterfly, the young Scot breaking the World Record in the process. Executing a near flawless four lengths of the pool, Shaw touched in 1.51.70, the S9 well clear of her rivals.