Poppy Maskill set a new lifetime best in the Women’s S14 100m Backstroke heats to lead qualification, as all ten Brits in individual racing action sealed there place from the second morning of heats in Madeira.
The Women’s S14 100m Backstroke heats served up a taster for what will be an exciting final, with Maskill, Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate progressing as the top seeded athletes. Applegate going in the first of the heats put in a controlled swim to set the benchmark. Paralympic Champion and world record holder, Firth, took the pace out in the second of the heats with world’s debutant Maskill following the speed set from the lane beside. The Alsager SC athlete was already on for a fast time, but increased her stroke rate in the closing metres to nick the touch in a new personal best time of 1:07.88.
Reacting to her race, Maskill said: “Really cool, I just really wanted to get a PB or win. I’ll go have a break now and come back refreshed to have go at going even faster this evening.”
In the men’s equivalent Louis Lawlor went out strongest to the turn, with Jordan Catchpole finishing fastest as the British trio completed by Reece Dunn navigated the single morning heat of the event and secured their place among the top eight on the finals startlist.
Grace Harvey was first in the water was for Great Britain on day two, as she lined up in the second of the Women’s S6 100m Freestyle heats. From the gun she found herself on the shoulder of Anna Hontar (UKR) and paced her morning effort sublimely over the distance to follow her closely into the wall to take a ranking of third into the final.
Elsewhere the Madeira 2022 campaigns of Toni Shaw and Brock Whiston began with the SM9 200m Individual Medley. Shaw - a bronze medallist in this event three years ago – led out the quicker of the pair to progress in third, whilst Whiston produce a strong second half of her race through the breaststroke and freestyle to reduce the deficit and qualify in sixth for the final.
Commenting on her opening swim of the meet, Shaw said:
“Yeah it was an ok swim, the 200IM I wouldn’t say was one of my best events but it’s so nice to start racing because yesterday I was just sitting about watching everyone else. Seeing Ellie and Tully smash those world records really made me want to get going and get racing.”
The morning also featured a positive swim from Sam Downie in the Men’s S8 100m Backstroke, as he grasped a second finals spot in as many days to continue building his experience on the international stage. Meanwhile the session closed out with the Mixed 4x50m Freestyle heats that saw Will Perry, Maisie Summers-Newton, Lyndon Longhorne and Ellie Challis secure a central lane for the final due to their second place finish from the solitary heat for the event.