Tight heats set up big Saturday finals showdowns

19 Feb 2022

Saturday's finals look set to serve up some thrilling contests at the Para Swimming World Series inc. British Para-Swimming Meet 2022 after another a fast morning of heats at Aberdeen Sports Village. 

Across the Men's and Women's MC 200m and 400m Freestyle, there were tiny points margins separating the top few qualifiers. In the Women's 200m Freestyle, the S14 trio of Jessica-Jane Applegate (794 points), Louise Fiddes (786) and Bethany Firth (777) - all Paralympic medallists in Tokyo - were in a straight race across the four laps, with City of Norwich competitor athlete Applegate pulling clear in the final strokes to qualify top. Alsager's Poppy Maskill, another S14 swimmer, stayed with the field well for much of a strong heat to qualify fifth. 

The men's event, meanwhile, saw a couple of eye-catching displays from Tom Hamer and Lyndon Longhorne. National Performance Centre man Hamer went out hard and held his pace well to lead the qualifying with 813 points, ahead of Gloucester City and fellow S14 swimmer George Kelman-Johns, whose time was worth 787 points, around a second back. 

Earlier in those heats, the busy Longhorne set the latest in his ever-extending line of British records. His time of 3:22.15 - worth 542 points in qualifying - was nearly three seconds faster than the mark he set in the Paralympic heats last summer. 

The Women's 400m Freestyle was the closest of the lot on Saturday morning, with a mere five points separating the top four qualifiers for a final that is not to be missed. S10 Zara Mullooly - who now trains at Leeds University - led the way with a time worth 749 points, a single point ahead of former Northampton Swimming Club training partner Maisie Summers-Newton (S6). Three points further back was Ireland's Roisin Ni Riain (S13) on 745, and S9 Toni Shaw was one point further back. The depth of the field in the World Series final promises a memorable race. 

Lyndon Longhorne poolside BPSM 2022
Lyndon Longhorne

University of Stirling's Oliver Carter led the Men's 400m Freestyle qualifying after an intriguing S10 battle with Germany's Justin Kaps. Carter touched in 4:21.18 for 753 points after a solid final 50m, Kaps tallying 741 points after finishing a second-and-a-half back. Inigo Llopis Sanz (S8) of Spain rounded out the top three qualifiers after matching Kaps' 741 points - while double Paralympian Mikey Jones will feature in the reckoning after notching 734 points.

The heats session began with sprint butterfly events. Ellie Challis qualified second top in the Women's 50m Butterfly with 709 points, while Sebastian Williams (S6) of Mount Kelly swam well to qualify top in the men's event. 

Head over to our #Aberdeen2022 page to access full results, the session livestream and more.