Records fall as Brits conclude European campaign
The British Gas GBR Para-Swimming team exceeded their medal target with a performance that saw them win 73 medals including 30 golds at the IPC
Swimming European Championships.
Steph Slater continued to make her mark on the international scene with gold and a European record in the women’s S8 50m Freestyle.
The world record holder has won five individual gold medals and impressed with another stand out performance on the final day.
She secured lane two from the heats this morning and swam her own race to touch in 30.44 to knock almost a second of the previous European standard.
“It was a really good swim,” Slater said. “I just stuck to my own race plan and it didn’t matter what lane I was in because there was water there so you know you have a chance.
“I love the 50m Free because it’s a great sprint event and I love my sprints. I’ve always loved doing the 50m Free and it’s one I’ll hopefully work on a lot more.”
Kateryna Istomina (Russia) won the silver in 31.59 and Olesya Vladykina (Russia) won the bronze in 31.90.
Andrew Mullen added another gold to his impressive medal tally with a strong performance in the men’s S5 50m Backstroke.
Mullen has won four gold medals throughout the week and concluded his European campaign on a high.
He swam to a new European record of 37.56.
“I’m really pleased right now,” Mullen said. “I was expecting to swim fast in the Backstroke. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been an event that I’ve not
managed to drop as much time as I’d have liked but to do that in a European final in a European record is just great.
“It’s been a great week. I don’t really think it could have gone much better for me. I have a 100% PB record, four gold medals and two silvers – I don’t think I could have asked for anymore.”
Hungary’s Zsolt Vereczkei won silver in 40.17 and Roman Zhdanov (Russia) won bronze in 41.27.
Double Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds secured the first gold medal of the day in the SB6 100m Breaststroke to complete her hat trick on the final day in Eindhoven.
Simmonds, who was competing the 100m Breaststroke for the first time internationally, got off to an excellent start and commanded the race throughout.
She turned in the lead and maintained her lead through the final 50m to finish in a new personal best time of 1:41.26.
“The Breaststroke is a fun event for me,” Simmonds said. “It was great to finish on a PB and I really enjoy the Breaststroke. I love all of my events but I get really nervous on the others but I don’t for the Breaststroke.
“I know that Charlotte Henshaw would have been watching at home and I really did that for her.”
Nina Kozlova (Ukraine) took silver in 1:53.12 and Arianna Talamona (Italy) won bronze in 1:54.83.
The women’s 4x100m Medley Relay, which comprised of Steph Millward, Claire Cashmore, Steph Slater and Amy Marren, stormed to victory to complete the Brits’ medal run at the Championships.
The first leg for Millward was close but Cashmore moved the Brits into the lead. European record holder Slater pushed the team further ahead of the field and handed over to Marren in a strong position.
Marren touched in 4:46.89 to give the team the final gold medal of the competition.
“Relays are a really fun event,” Marren said. “I really love being part of a relay. It’s a bit annoying how close we were to the world record but we know there is room for improvement which gives us hope for next year. It’s good to get the gold again this year with this team.”
Marren also won her sixth individual medal of the competition with silver in the S9 100m Butterfly after touching in a time of 1:11.09 and bronze went to Stephanie Millward in 1:12.17.
Hannah Russell won silver in the S12 400m Freestyle with a time of 4:45.72 to secure six medals through the week.
Jack Thomas won his second medal of the competition with silver in the SM14 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2:17.99 with Craig Harris winning bronze
in 2:18.71. Scott Quin finished in fourth in 2:20.76.
The men’s 4x100m Medley Relay saw Ollie Hynd, Jack Bridge, James Hollis and Matt Walker win the silver medal in a time of 4:20.70.
Jessica-Jane Applegate concluded her European campaign with bronze in the SM14 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2:30.43. Chloe Davies finished in fifth place in 2:34.61.
Rob Welbourn finished fourth in the S10 100m Freestyle in 55.58 and Alice Tai took fourth in the same event in 1:03.94. Josef Craig finished in fifth place in the S8 50m Freestyle in 28.56.