Brilliant Brits break world records at home World Series

Summers-Newton and Tai claim golds on opening day in Sheffield 01 Jun 2018 By Ryan Wilson | For the IPC

British swimmers dominated the headlines in their home pool, breaking world and national records on day one of the World Para Swimming World Series in Sheffield on Thursday (31 May).

In the first day of four, the host nation saw home talent Maisie Summers-Newton (S6) claim a stunning win in the women’s 100m breaststroke, setting a new world record time of 1:33:92. Her points score of 1,033 also saw her take gold ahead of Uzbekistan’s Fotimakhon Amilova (S13, 999) and fellow Brit Louise Fiddes (S14, 980).

“It went quite well in the heats this morning,” Summers-Newton said of her gold-medal run. “I just thought, ‘Give it all I’ve got.’”

Summers-Newton, beaming with joy as the gold medal was draped around her neck on the podium, added that the time gives her a lot of confidence entering the upcoming European Championships in Dublin this summer.

The Sheffield World Series also saw a second world record from another Great Britain star, Alice Tai (S8). Tai took home the gold medal in the women’s 100m freestyle in a time of 1:03:06, with 1,050 points.

“I’m really happy with my swim and how I compared to my swim at the Commonwealth (Games),” she said.

The Sheffield World Series, she says, has also taught her life lessons.

“I think I’ve learned this week that I can swim only for myself,” she said. “I only do the best that I can do, so that’s really what I want to pursue for the rest of my career and hopefully [get a personal best] every major.”

Tai, who had her grandparents watching from the stands, bested Canada’s Auriele Rivard (S10) and another British swimmer, Tully Kearney (S6) in the final.

There was plenty of international talent on show in Sheffield too, with Colombia’s Nelson Crispin also scoring high numbers in the 100m breaststroke. With 991 points, the three-time Rio 2016 medallist finished ahead of the British pair of Scott Quin (S14) and Conner Morrison (S14) in second and third. Crispin’s Colombian teammate Carlos Serrano Zarate, the Rio 2016 champion, was disqualified in the event. He had finished one second outside a world record time but was DQ’d for an illegal kick.

Crispin was not able to beat out Brazilian Daniel Dias in the men’s 100m freestyle. Dias – the current men’s World Series leader - put up 940 points in the final, giving him a significant advantage over his competitors. Crispin (938) had to settle for silver, while another Brazilian swimmer, Phelipe Rodriguez (S10, 936), came in third.

In the men’s 50m breaststroke, Japan’s Takayuku Suzuku (S5, 890) won gold ahead of five-time Paralympic medallist Curtis Lovejoy (390) from the USA. Lovejoy is the world-record holder in the SB1 category.

The Sheffield World Series continues on Friday (1 June), with events including the men’s and women’s 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

The competition runs until 3 June, and is being live streamed on World Para Swimming’s website.

Live results are available here.