Ellard and Firth fastest qualifiers on penultimate morning

18 Mar 2023

William Ellard and Bethany Firth went well as the top-ranked British qualifiers on day three of the Citi Para Swimming World Series inc. British Para-Swimming Meet, as a number of other Brits set themselves up for the finals later today

The 200m Freestyle events provided the best action of the day three heats, with the women’s event setting up a scintillating battle between Brits Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate for the gold medal in the World Series final this evening.

The pair both looked good as they lined up next to each other in the final heat – trading blows down the final 50 metres to ultimately settle into a first place finish for Firth, and second for Applegate, with the pair taking 840 and 807 points respectively. Ellie Challis meanwhile continued her record breaking form, stopping the clock on 3:43.12 to smash through her previous S3 British record.

JJ Applegate 200m free BPSM MH.jpg
Jessica-Jane Applegate dives in (centre) with Louise Fiddes and Bethany either side

The men’s closing heat was equally as captivating, as William Ellard returned to the pool following his win in the MC 100m Freestyle on day one to qualify fastest for the World Series medal contest tonight.

Dictating the pace of the race from the start, he put in a front-end swim which took out the competition, before cruising to the wall in first place ahead of Brazilian Dos Santos Araujo and British compatriot Jordan Catchpole, who are second and third into the final respectively. Dylan Broom was the other home athlete in the top 8 as a productive heats session was rounded off.

Scarlett Humphrey was back in action for the Women’s MC 400m Freestyle, and she broke the S11 British record in a fourth event so far in the competition. The Northampton athlete showed good pace to stay inside the mark across the length of the race – touching in a time of 5:44.65 and claiming 623 points.

Four Brits made it through to the World Series finals in the event, with Maisie Summers-Newton and Brock Whiston making the top eight, as Grace Harvey and Faye Rogers rounded off the British representation to qualify out of the heats.

Michael Jones and Oliver Carter will both be back tonight for the respective men's World Series finals of the MC 400m Freestyle, as the pair just did enough to go above the 750-point mark and put themselves in with a chance of a top eight finish at the conclusion of day three.

Camden Swiss’ Leah O’Connell was the top British qualifier in the opening event of the day – with the S7 athlete making it through to the World Series final of the Women’s MC 50m Butterfly. The 2002-born swimmer finished the heats in sixteenth place, and goes through to this evening’s final following a score of 479 points. In the men’s event, Devonport’s Xander Harris took the top qualification spot into the National Final.

For full results, ticket info and links to the British Swimming livestream, head over to our What's On? page.