The Women’s S6 400m Freestyle opened the programme, with Maisie Summers-Newton returning to the pool after the high of last night’s individual medley gold. It was evident the Northampton SC athlete looked keen to get another good heats swim under her belt right from the starters orders as she exchanged a good race with Nora Meinster (SUI) over the distance, with the pair ultimately finishing over 20 seconds clear of the pack.
Pleased to have posted the fastest qualifying time in the heats, Summers-Newton said:
“I definitely felt a lot more relaxed for that race, I think now that I’ve done my 200m IM I can kind of just calm down a little bit. That was a great race [this morning], I felt quite smooth and hopefully tonight I can try go a bit faster and it’ll be a really good race with the Swiss girl.”
Shortly after it Alice Tai took to the blocks in her heat of the Women’s S8 100m Freestyle. The Dave Heathcock-coached swimmer paced her effort out on the shoulder of the Spanish athlete in the lane outside her, and returned strongly down the second length to be first to the wall in her heat.
There was an additional smile as Tai waited to be given the referee’s to exit the pool as her goggle split and sat hanging under her cap.
Pleased to be back racing on the international stage, Tai remarked:
“It’s been really nice catching up with people and getting my bearings around the pool. I’d almost forgotten how to race and what the competitions were like because it’s been so long. It’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.”
Toni Shaw’s S9 100m Freestyle was the last heat to run on Wednesday morning’s schedule, and the University of Stirling athlete gave herself a decent lane draw for what is set to be another incredibly close final in her classification.
Having turned in sixth, Shaw delivered a the fastest second 50m split to move back up into second, placing her well in the mix for what she expects to be a tough contest to get among the medals tonight:
“I know one of the girls, Sarai [Gascon], she generally takes it very easy in the heats so tonight's going to be really really close like last night - it's going to be exciting.”
Ellie Challis, Eliza and Scarlett Humphrey and British quartets for both the Mixed 4x100m Medley 49pts and Mixed S14 4x100m Freestyle relays join this morning’s British qualifiers later in direct final events.