The first session of the 2019 British Para-Swimming International Meet (BPSIM) went off with a bang as some of the best para-swimmers on the planet delivered potential world, European and British record performances, subject to ratification.
Despite not being a Paralympic event, Britons Reece Dunn and Tom Hamer went inside the S14 Men’s 100m Freestyle world record, whilst there was also a European record set by Spain's Antoni Ponce Bertran.
Sticking with that event, the Women’s MC 100m Freestyle, one of the biggest names in para-swimming headed the qualifying, however the leading Brits were also well to the fore, filling seven of the top eight spots.
Canadian S10 Aurelie Rivard secured an impressive 981 points thanks to a 59.54 swim, but in a close fought race Bethany Firth touched first in 59.43, good for 862 points. Fastest on paper, Firth, who is an S14, will take lane nine in the final, with finals being seeded slowest to fastest from lane 0 to lane 9, to provide more head-to-head in-class racing opportunities.
Splitting that pair on points was Paralympic medallist Alice Tai, the Ealing based S8 touching in 1.06.14, good for 862 points. In the hotly contested S6 category, Masie Summers-Newton qualified fastest in 1.15.72, securing her 838 points, with Ellie Robinson and Grace Harvey both finishing within a second.
Paralympic champion Rivard will start as hot favourite in the finals, which get underway at 5pm this evening.
In the men’s equivalent the Glasgow crowd were treated to a thrilling final heat, with Brits Tom Hamer and Reece Dunn drawn in adjacent lanes. Closely matched at the turn it was Dunn who headed his more established rival, and despite Paralympic champion Hamer coming back at him he held on to take the win in 53.14, with Hamer touching in 53.47. The S14 duo scored 1020 and 1001 points respectively, with Dunn’s time a new world record, subject to ratification.
The Women’s 200m Individual Medley proved successful for the Brits as European Champion Maisie Summers-Newton swam under the qualifying standard for aforementioned World Championships.
The Northampton-based swimmer, who trains under the guidance of Jacquie Marshall, continued to demonstrate her ever increasing talent after she clocked 3:01.84 and point’s total of 963; she will return to contest the medals tonight as she chases down her own world record set at the Dublin 2019 European Championships.
Multi-Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds also featured in the 200m IM, the Camden Swiss Cottage swimmer picked up 923 points after she touched in 3:04.45. Eight other British para-swimmers will feature in the World Series 200m IM finals including Paralympic medallists Alice Tai and Jessica-Jane Applegate.
The day one heats session in Glasgow was brought to a close by the Men’s 200m Individual Medley and fresh from his world leading swim earlier in the morning, Reece Dunn topped the board with a time of 2:13.99. The Plymouth Leander athlete lowered his previous lifetime best by more than eight seconds and racked up a score of 891. In an earlier heat Spain’s Antoni Ponce Bertran signalled his intent for the final after he lowered the S5 European record to 2:57.75, amassing 858 points. Nine other British men have booked slots in the World Series 200m IM finals with Jordan Catchpole and Tom Hamer looking on fine form in the S14 classification.
Live results from Glasgow are available on British Swimming’s website here and you can catch all the action on the live stream which resumes at 4.30pm, via Facebook or the British Swimming YouTube channel.
Tickets are still available on the door in Glasgow.