Alice Tai, Ellie Challis and Scott Quin sent the home crowd into raptures on Saturday as they broke world records at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
Tai has been in fine form here in Glasgow at the British Para-Swimming International Meet (BPSIM), once again underlining her class with a world record swim. In a loaded final race, Tai produced one of the swims of her life to touch in 1.08.08. That time put her inside the S8 Women’s 100m Backstroke world record, but she had to settle for World Series silver as Italy’s Carlotta Gilli also broke the S13 world record to edge out the Briton 1037 points to 1007.
Third place came from the penultimate final as China’s Xinyi Wang also broke the world record for her S11 class, to cap off a stunning first event of the evening.
Speaking post-race, Tai said:
“I’m really pleased with the swim; it’s the fastest I’ve gone since 2017 [when an S10] so it’s showing that I’m going in the right direction. Going into the race I thought it would take a world record to win but the top three all got them so it was a great final.
“It was great racing alongside Jess [Jessica-Jane Applegate] - she’s a great backstroker and she really pushed me all the way to the wall. I’m enjoying my training at the minute, so hopefully I can just keep pushing that time down.”
It was turned out to be a night of world records as British newcomer Ellie Challis struck gold in the Women’s MC 50m Breaststroke, going one better than the silver medals she won in both the 50m Butterfly and 150m Individual Medley.
The S2 swimmer knew she would again be going head-to-head with her American rival, S3 Leanne Smith, but the 15 year old S2 proved more than a match, as she chased her all the way. Smith touched first in 1.02.89, but swimming in a lower class Challis’ world record 1.05.43 time secured her 1047 points and World Series gold.
A delighted Challis commented:
“That was really good! I was always hoping to get the record but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen – it feels amazing. I was hoping to follow Leanne and try and keep up for as far as I could, so I’m very pleased with how it went. I’ll now focus on the other strokes a little bit more, as breaststroke has always been my favourite, but my other strokes are coming along really well.
“I only got my classification on Monday, so being here all week and now this, it’s just a huge achievement.”
Having broken the world record in the heats this morning, Scott Quin struck gold in Men’s MC 100m Breaststroke with another fine swim, going inside the previous world record once again. After a stunning 1.05.28 time earlier in the day, Quin went for it once more, reaching halfway just 0.2 seconds down on his morning swim. Bringing it home in style down the home straight to win his race, the S14 stopped the clock in 1.05.53 to lift the title and go inside the British consideration time for London 2019 for the second time in eight hours. Silver went to Spain’s S5 Antoni Ponce Bertran, matching his qualifying position, whilst Columbia’s S7 Carlos Serrano Zarate bagged bronze.
With the gold medal round his neck, Quin said:
“I’m happy with the way I swam tonight – it’s very hard to go 65.2 and then 65.5, so that’s the first time I’ve ever gone 65 twice in one day, so I couldn’t really expect to go even quicker.
“It’s been a very positive day and I feel we’ve nailed most of my target goals at this early point of the hard part of the season, so now until September it’s going to be nice. The last major event in London was London 2012 and I missed out on that, so for me, I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to race there.”
Germany’s Elena Krawzow took gold in an enthralling Women’s MC 100m Breaststroke, where it took a new S12 world record of 1.14.02 to take the title. In the first of the three finals, Maisie Summers-Newton came within a whisker of another S6 world record with a 1.34.31 swim, good for 978 points, occupying the current leader’s hot-seat until the German dethroned her. Bronze went to Brock Whiston, the Brit swimming 1.18.50 to amass a tally of 950 points.
Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei won a thrilling Men’s MC 100m Backstroke, as it all came down to the touch in the final race. The S12 visually impaired swimmer stopped the clock in 1.00.61 to bag 938 points, just edging out S14 Jordan Catchpole, who touched in 1.00.70 to further lower the British record he set in the heats this morning. Taking bronze was Stephen Clegg, the S12 swimming 1.01.30 to, like Catchpole, break the British record. Catchpole also had the added bonus of meeting the World Championships consideration time.
The Men’s MC 50m Breaststroke saw Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki continue his domination as he added yet another Glasgow World Series gold to his seemingly ever growing collection. Leading from gun to tape, the S3 stopped the clock in 50.14 to secure gold with 852 points.
Full results from Glasgow are available on British Swimming’s website here and you can catch all the action on the live stream, which resumes at 9.30am on Sunday morning, via Facebook or the British Swimming YouTube channel.
Tickets are still available at the venue in Glasgow.