Day three heats of the Madeira 2022 World Para Swimming Championships saw a Maisie Summers-Newton and Grace Harvey record a 1-2 in the heats, underlying the prospect of more medals for the Great Britain team from this evening’s finals.
Maisie Summers-Newton continued her status as favourite to retain the Women’s SM6 200m Individual Medley title with a heats swim she was more than happy with, as her traditionally strong breaststroke leg brought her to the fore. Compatriot Grace Harvey can be more than delighted with having led the world record holder out over the first 100m, and will certainly put the pressure on come the final having commented on the work she’s put into her back end race pace following her freestyle bronze last night.
Summers Newton then doubled up to help the Great British 20pt quartet seal their lane draw for this evenings 4x50m Medley relay. Led out by Ellie Challis on the backstroke, Will Perry moved up through the field on the Breaststroke to hand over to his Northampton SC training partner Summers-Newton on the Butterfly leg. Lyndon Longhorne then brought it home for the team in 3:05.67 to rank the British quartet sixth, giving this developing team a marker to aim to progress on come the final.
Earlier in the session Ellie Challis took on the challenge of competing up two classifications in the S5 50m Butterfly. Challis, who holds the S3 European record in the event, almost gate-crashed the finals as she finished ninth in the rankings - a remarkable achievement given her already packed racing schedule.
Lyndon Longhorne also had a busy morning with his SM4 150m Individual Medley having taken place an hour earlier. After initial disappointment at seeing a DQ on the scoreboard the Derwentside SC athlete had his time reinstated to qualify in sixth.
The first heats competition in the water on Tuesday morning was the SB14 100m Breaststroke, with Scott Quin and Cameron Vearncombe in the men’s event, followed by Louise Fiddes and Poppy Maskill in the women’s qualifiers.
Double Paralympic and world medallist Quin produced a measured effort to progress in fifth place and will look to step it up a gear come the final. Plymouth Leander swimmer, Vearncombe, produced a respectable showing from the lane outside his teammate in heat two to rank tenth on his world championship debut swim.
Fiddes and Maskill equally shared a lane rope in their heats encounter, but the pair who already have medals to their name at Madeira 2022 will flank opposite sides of the pool in tonight’s final after qualifying fifth and sixth respectively.
Returning to the pool following her opening night success, Hannah Russell made light work of qualifying in the Women’s S12 50m Freestyle event as the third fastest qualifier. Having been selected to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games over this distance for Team England, Russell will only sharpen her racing craft further from racing the world’s best once again tonight.
Meanwhile Toni Shaw navigated passage into the Women’s S9 100m Butterfly final with victory in her morning heat. Brock Whiston finished 11th overall in the event after qualification, completing her individual programme at Madeira 2022.