Day six heats proved to be a busy one in the pool for GBR with Tully Kearney laying down a statement of intent as she qualified for the 100m Freestyle final.
Kearney kicked things off for the British team on day six in Dublin, off the back of her 50m free bronze medal, she qualified fastest for the final of the Women’s S5 100m Freestyle in 1:20.94.
Fresh from her heats swim Kearney said, “It was a solid heats swim for the morning, considering classification and everything I’ve been through this week I’m really happy with that.
“Now I’ll just put that swim to the back of my mind, forget about it and just treat it like it’s a brand new race. I just take all the pressure off and show people what I can do.”
Eleanor Robinson returned to competition on the penultimate day of racing, this time the Paralympic and Commonwealth Champion went in the Women’s S6 50m Butterfly.
Robinson, who trains under the guidance of Jacquie Marshall, cruised to the top of the heats rankings with a swim of 35.77, just 0.55 seconds off her best ever time.
“It felt really good, going into it I wanted to stay relaxed in the opening 25m and that worked out well but once I got into my rhythm I just kept going.
“I was relaxed in the call room and I produced a relaxed swim, so if I hype myself up a bit more hopefully I can go faster tonight.
“It would be nice to PB and obviously nice to get a World record but it’s about focussing on the process and doing the best I can.
A smooth and well-paced swim is what Lewis White served up in the heats of the Men’s S9 400m Freestyle. He clocked a time of 4:23.88 as he led his race in a spearhead formation from start to finish.
Following the completion of the second heat, White ranked second and goes into the final just 0.78 off the quickest qualifier.
Oliver Hynd just missed out on a lane in the final, his time of 4:35.12 ranked him tenth at the end of the eight lap race of Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre.
Toni Shaw rounded off day five of the European Championships with four medals and today she began the hunt for her fifth.
She went in the Women’s S9 400m Freestyle and posted the third fastest time, 5:12.01, to book herself into lane six for tonight’s final.
Shaw said, “Racing felt good this morning, I knew only really needed to swim quicker than one person to get into the final.
“I was working on turning fast and holding my position in the centre of the lane. Now I just need to rest ahead of the final and we’ll see how it goes tonight.”
After he touched first in his heat of the Men’s S14 100m Butterfly in a time of 1:01.92, Jordan Catchpole progressed through to the final as the fourth quickest man.
“I’m happy with that heats swim,” Catchpole said. “I’ve had a couple of days since my last race to just chill and catch up on some sleep as the finals are quite late on in the day.
“I feel really confident after that and now I just need to carry that into the final tonight. I want to make sure I stay relaxed and fingers crossed I will deliver.”
Great Britain showed their depth in the Women’s S14 100m Butterfly heat as all three swimmers qualified comfortably for the final in a one-two-three formation.
Jessica-jane Applegate led the GB trio, her time of 1:05.78 was just over a second off her own PB and World record.
“My plan was always to just run out the heats and see how it felt, identify any mistakes so I can go back and eliminate them for the final.” said Applegate.
“I love the 100m fly, it’s definitely one of my favourite events but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself for later, what will be will be.”
Louise Fiddes and Bethany Firth then ranked second and third respectively, their times 1:06.54 and 1:06.57, could we be looking at another clean sweep of the Dublin 2018 podium?
Stephen Clegg began his challenge of the medals in the Men’s S12 100m Freestyle, he placed fourth after two heats with his time of 55.19.
Clegg will is ranked below three Ukrainian athletes and he will be looking to disrupt a yellow and blue domination of the medals.
Alice Tai made a strong start to her search for a third gold of these European Championships, she carved out a substantial lead in the heats of the Women’s S8 100m Butterfly.
She touched the wall in a time of 1:14.56, easily topping the overall event rankings.
Megan Richter also featured in the Women’s S8 100m Butterfly but was disqualified due to a technical infringement, of her body position in the water.
Michael Jones was the final British athlete to take to the water during day heats, he went in the Men’s S7 50m Freestyle.
His time of 1:06.84 saw him ranked sixth and will return to contest for the podium later.
S12 swimmer Hannah Russell will also feature in this evening’s finals session, she will go in a straight final of the Women’s 100m Freestyle.
Click here to view all the results and times from penultimate heats session of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships 2018.