Shaw sails into Friday night finals

13 Sep 2019

British athletes positioned themselves well for more medal success on day five of the London 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships.

Toni Shaw returned to the action today in the heats of the Women’s S9 400m Freestyle. Shaw won her heat in a time of 4:58.71, saving her speed for the final where she’ll be up against all three medallists from the Rio Paralympic Games, as well as Lakeisha Patterson (AUS) who is currently ranked number one in the world for the event.

Shaw said of her heat swim:

“Because it’s the longer distance I just wanted to take it easy in the heats, to then really go for it in the final. It was good to have Ellie (Cole, AUS) alongside me but it’s Lakeisha (Patterson, AUS) in the next heat who’s definitely going to be the leader. For the second and third places it will be a tight race, it should be fun.”

Alice Tai’s packed programme continued this morning in the heats of the Women’s S8 50m Freestyle. The 20 year old will be chasing her fifth individual gold medal this evening after posting a Championships Record in her heat, with a time of 29.90. Talking about her back to back race schedule, Tai said:

“In Berlin earlier in the year I did a similar volume of events to make sure I could overload and still perform at a decent level. That means I’m confident coming into this that by the end of the week I’ll still be able to pull out good performances. The support staff are being amazing and I’m getting massages and physio and everything I need to be able to perform.”

Teammate Megan Richter posted 33.76 for her heat and said of her performance,

“It was good to get back to racing but I’m a little disappointed with my time. I’m trying to work on the process of the race and I did what I wanted to work on there, but we’ve got more to work on for next season.”

Maisie Summers-Newton and Ellie Robinson also resumed their competition in the heats of the Women’s S6 50m Freestyle with both progressing to the final, Robinson finishing in 34.40 and Summers-Newton in 36.56.

Robinson said of her performance:

“I was happy with that heat swim. I think I would like to have gone a bit quicker but that’s just me being quite hard on myself. I think once I look back on it properly I’ll be happy with it. I was disappointed with my 100 Free but when I’m faced with a bit of a challenge or a difficulty, that’s the best time for me to race as it really motivates me.”

Summers-Newton added:

“It was alright for the heats; I would have liked a 35 but having a day off yesterday kind of got me out of the motion of it all. This is a fun event and hopefully tonight I’ll be able to bring it back.”

Stephen Clegg will also be back in action later in the finals of the Men's S12 100m Freestyle. Clegg, who won bronze in the event at the European Championships in Dublin last year, finished in 54.93 and said of his performance:

“It was good to pace myself with Veraksa (UKR). He’s more experience and renowned for this event, so it was great to race against him. I was a bit slower going out than I wanted but it was a good turn which isn’t common in my freestyle so I’m pretty pleased with that.”

This evenings schedule also features the Women's 34pt 4x100m Medley Relay, offering a further chance of podium success with Great Britain the current reigning Paralympic Champions.

Live results and the event schedule can be found here and you can catch all the action on Channel 4 here.