Craig Posts World Leading Time to Take Gold in Leeds

8th March 2013

Paralympic Champion Josef Craig (S7 of South Tyneside swam close to his own World Record to win the MC 400m Freestyle event on the second night of the British Gas International Meet in Leeds.
Posting the second fastest time in history for his classification, Craig won the gold in 4.43.53 (992 points) ahead of teammate Jonathan Fox (S7) (Newquay Cormorants) who was second in 4.50.91 (919 points).
Ollie Hynd of Nova Centurion swam to bronze in 4.38.14.
“I’m really pleased with the race, that was nearly as quick as the Paralympic games,” said Craig. “I feel like I’m getting that long course race pace back that I had before the games.
“We’re in heavy training at the minute and I want to stay as close to my Games times so when I come to the World trials I will be where I need to be to break world records.
“I’ve been doing more work in the gym and it is paying off, I can feel it in my races. My shorter distance times are coming down to."
Jessica-Jane Applegate added two gold medals to her tally tonight winning gold in the MC 200m Freestyle in a new British Record of 2.12.47.
The Paralympic champion dominated from the gun and touched for gold ahead of Natalie Massey (Aquabears) in second in 2.20.20 and Chloe Davies (Trowbridge) in third with a time of 2.20.37.
Applegate then added the 100m Butterfly gold in a successful night at the pool for the youngster from Norwich and she was delighted with her swims.
“I felt really pleased with my swims,” she said. “I felt a lot of pressure coming into the 200m Free because people expect me to win after the Paralympics but I managed to calm myself in time for my races.
“My 200m Free was a PB untapered so I’m really happy with that.”
She took the 100m Fly title in 1.11.84 ahead of Stephanie Slater of Preston (1.11.42) and Stephanie Millward  of Aquae Sulis (1.13.52) in silver and bronze respectively.
Kelly College’s Hannah Russell was victorious again in the pool tonight, taking her second gold medal of the meet in the MC 400m Freestyle.
S12 athlete Russell was less than two seconds off her personal best time and clocked 4.40.00 to take the victory.
Tully Kearney of Royal Wolverhampton won the silver in a time of 4.45.56 whilst Rosie Bancroft (City of Oxford) lowered her own S10 British Record to take bronze in 4.47.68.
“I thought that was really good, a definite improvement on this morning,” Russell said.” I wanted to go in there and swim my absolute hardest so see where I was.”
“It’s been tough racing finals back to back but it is good preparation.”
Stockport Metro’s Dan Pepper took the win in the MC200m Freestyle men’s event in 2.04.92, he beat off a challenge from Ben Procter (Newquay Cormorants) who came second in 2.05.77.
Jack Thomas of Swansea University was third in 2.07.61.
“I’m really pleased with that swim,” said Pepper. “I’ll be very interested to see what time I went out in as I’ve been working on my front end speed in training recently so I went out hard in that race.
“I’ve got the 200m IM  and 100m Breaststroke coming up in the next few days  and those races could go either way so I’m just looking forward to seeing what I can do.”
Edinburgh University’s Craig Rodgie won the gold in the MC  100m Fly men’s final in a time of 1.03.55. He beat James Hollis of Loughborough University into silver (1.10.03) and James Clegg of East Lothian to bronze in 1.02.00.