Euro title No.2 for Tai

17 Aug 2018

Alice Tai led the British effort in the pool on the fifth night of finals of the 2018 European Championships in Dublin as she claimed her second continental title.

Tai stormed to victory in the Women’s S8 100m Freestyle final, she reduced her time from the heats by almost three seconds and sealed the win in 1:05.53.

“That race was actually a little disappointing for me,” said Tai, “My body just kind of shut down after forty metres so it ended up being a really difficult swim and really hard for me to keep pushing.

“But it’s still a gold medal and the European title so I can be happy with that.

“I’ve got the butterfly tomorrow and then potentially the relay on Sunday so still lots to look forward to here in Dublin.”

Tai was joined on the podium at the National Aquatic Centre by Italy’s Francesca Palazzo who took the silver medal and France’s Claire Supiot for bronze.

GB’s Megan Richter also took to the pool in the S8 100m Free final, posted a 2018 seasons best of 1:12.11 and ranked fifth overall.

Great Britain picked up two medals in the Women’s S6 400m Freestyle, silver for Eleanor Simmonds and bronze for double 2018 euro champion Maisie Summers-Newton.

Simmonds was chasing down the gold medallist Yelyzaveta Mereshko of Ukraine for most of the race but ran out of water, her time at the touch was 5:26.20 was both an improvement on her heats swim and also a new season’s best.

“I really happy with how this week has gone,” exclaimed Simmonds. “To go 5:26, that was a season’s best for me, it felt a lot harder than I wanted it to be but I’m happy to come away with two silver medals and two best times for the 2018 season.

“There’s lots that I need to work on but that’s exciting, that’s me finished now here in Dublin and I’m looking forward to getting up into the stands and cheering on the team for the last few days.”

Summers-Newton also made a late dash on the final 50m, she pushed her teammate Simmonds all the way into the wall and claimed the bronze with a new lifetime best of 5:26.97.

GBR had a third athlete take to the water in the S6 400m Free, Grace Harvey concluded her race in fourth position but made improvements and knocked almost four seconds of her time from the heats.

Toni Shaw picked up her fourth medal of the Dublin 2018 championships, this time with a silver in the Women’s SM9 200m Individual Medley.

Shaw said, “This week has been really good, really exciting and I’m so happy with my result.

“Having an Irish swimmer in the final meant the cheering was really loud which was amazing, you could really hear it in the water.

“The experience has been great, the whole team are lovely. I didn’t come here expecting to achieve so much, my aim was just to get PBs.”

Her silver medal winning time of 2:36.80 was yet another personal best time.

Tully Kearney secured Great Britain’s first medal of night five of racing as she took bronze in the Women’s S5 50m Freestyle.

Kearney said after her race, “I started my week competing here in Dublin as a six [S6 classification] and then this morning I was put back down to an S5. It’s quite hard, it’s stressful, it’s tiring but classification is a massively important part of para-sport, so I understand the need for it.

“It’s been a tough week but I’m just really happy that I’ve been able to get in tonight and race, this is my first major championships in three years.”

Looking ahead to her 100m Freestyle event tomorrow Kearney added, “I have enough time now to really focus on my 100 tomorrow, I just need to rest and hopefully I can do well.”

Her time after the single lap race was 39.77 secured her place on the continental podium alongside Monia Boggioni of Italy who took silver and Spain’s Teresa Perales who won gold.

Lewis White just missed out on a podium finish in the Men’s SM9 200m Individual Medley, the penultimate final of the day five racing schedule saw the Brit edged into fourth on the final lap of the swim. His final time was new personal benchmark of 2:23.68.

The Women’s S13 100m Backstroke was a straight final event that featured Rebecca Redfern. She stopped the clock at 1:18.34 to lower her personal best and finished sixth overall.

Michael Jones finished seventh overall in the Men’s S7 50m Freestyle, his time of 30.96 was an improvement on his heats swim by more than 0.6 seconds.

Click here to view the full results and times from the fifth day of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Swimming Championships.