Five gold medals on the penultimate day
The British Gas GBR Para-Swimming team secured five gold medals on the penultimate day of competition at the IPC Swimming European Championships to take their gold medal total to 26 ahead of the final day.
Steph Slater, Steph Millward, Susie Rodgers and James Crisp all won individual titles before the women teamed up with Alice Tai to win the gold in the 4x100m Free Relay (34 point).
Commonwealth silver medallist Slater was up first this morning and claimed gold in the S8 100m Freestyle with another dominating performance.
She led throughout the race and took the gold medal in 1:07.03
“I’m a bit speechless by this competition,” Slater said. “I am really happy with it. Hopefully I can try and get a couple more tomorrow.”
Denmark’s Amalie Vinther won silver in 1:10.38 and Romy Pansters (Netherlands) took bronze in 1:16.39.
Millward was up in the S9 100m Backstroke and stormed to victory in one of her main events.
The World Champion took the race out hard from the start and continued her pace through to her touch in 1:10.98.
“I feel amazing,” Millward said. “It was my most favourite race. I love doing it. I love swimming it. I love everything about it and when you come home first it’s the best.
“My start was perfect and then I was able to watch both swimmers which meant that I didn’t have to go out too hard.”
European Champion Amy Marren won the silver in a time of 1:13.21 and bronze went to Nuria Margues Soto in 1:13.90.
Rodgers secured her fourth gold medal of the competition with victory in the S7 50m Butterfly.
Rodgers had an excellent start to the race and kept her speed up to secure gold on her birthday.
“It’s been quite a long week but it’s been great,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t really have any expectations for this week but to come away with another gold feels great.
“Time wise this morning was not the best I have done but it was a good solid time and not far off my PB. Considering it was a morning swim I was quite pleased with it.”
Oxana Guseva (Russia) won silver in 41.26 and Denise Grahl (Germany) won bronze in 45.77.
James Crisp won his first gold medal of the Championship by claiming the victory in the S9 100m Backstroke.
He had an excellent start to give him the lead from the start and came back to finish in a time of 1:04.30.
“I’m not the biggest fan of having my main event towards the back end of the week,” Crsip said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit this week and I haven’t had the speed that I expected so tonight it was about getting in and racing hard.”
Patrick Biskup (Poland) won the silver in 1:07.08 and Alexander Skaliukh took the bronze in 1:08.17.
The women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34 point), which featured Slater, Millward, Rodgers and Tai, swam a well timed race to win with over a ten second lead.
Millward led the team off and handed the lead to Rodgers. Slater continued the excellent performance for the Brits and handed over to Tai with a ten second lead.
Tai brought the relay home to a time of 4:27.21.
“The plan is always to go out as strong as we can,” Rodgers said. “It was the back end of the week so quite a few of us are quite tired but we were really up for that race tonight and we enjoyed it.
“You can never tell how people are going to swim, sometimes people can pull something out of nowhere I think we all just wanted to swim as fast as we can.
“It’s great racing with these girls. Relays are really exciting and it’s a great way to finish the week and with a gold medal.”
Spain won the silver in a time of 4:38.71 and the final spot on the podium went to Russia in 4:40.31.
Tai was in the pool earlier in the evening and secured silver in the S10 100m Backstroke with a time of 1:09.19.
Andrew Mullen won his fifth medal of the competition with silver in the Men’s S5 50m Freestyle in a time of 36.12.
Hannah Russell also secured her fifth medal of the meet after winning the silver in the Women’s S12 100m Freestyle in 1:00.62.
Josef Craig won bronze in the Men’s S8 100m Freestyle after touching the wall in 1:00.52.
Craig returned later in the evening to team up with Sascha Kindred, Rob Welbourn and James Hollis to take bronze in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34 point). They finished in 4:02.41.