“I knew training was going really well leading into the competition but I am so happy. It’s great for me to get that time and great for my positivity. I’ll look back now and see what I can improve on and what did go well and what didn’t."
Great Britain’s Ellie Simmonds and Bethany Firth broke world records on Tuesday (26 April), the penultimate day of action at the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow.
Paralympic champion Simmonds knocked a second off her world record in the 400m freestyle. The S6 swimmer lowered the record she set nearly four years ago at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Simmonds, based at the National Performance Centre in Manchester, swam an excellent race as she moved away from the field early on and maintained good pace to keep up with her record.
As the race entered the final 50m, Simmonds had everyone on their feet as she swam to a time of 5:18.69 and by breaking the world record she scored 1005 points.
“I knew I had that in me,” Simmonds said. “I knew training was going really well leading into the competition but I am so happy. It’s great for me to get that time and great for my positivity. I’ll look back now and see what I can improve on and what did go well and what didn’t.
“I’ve just got to focus on myself in training now. I have got tons of rivals out there but I’ve got to go out there in Rio and swim the best that I can.”
Rosie Bancroft (S10) took silver with a score of 836 and a time of 4:49.52 and bronze went to Ellie Robinson (S6) after touching in 5:48.72 and a score of 767.
Firth lowered her own world record in the 200m S 14 freestyle. She took on Jessica-Jane Applegate in the final and they quickly moved away from the field as the race entered the half way point.
The Ards swimmer touched in a time of 2:03.70 and took the gold medal with a score of 975. The time sees her under the qualification time for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“Words can’t really describe how I feel right now,” Firth said. “I was praying throughout that whole race I was just hoping that I could do a good time and show people that I’ve come here to mean business.
“I always have the world record in my mind ever since I watched it go at worlds last year. I wasn’t able to compete then because I broke my wrist but I came to watch the 200 free and it pushed me on and made me want to be one of the top girls.”
Applegate (S14) touched in 2:05.63 and took silver with 821 points which also saw her set a time that puts her in consideration for Rio 2016. Bronze went to Chloe Davies who touched in a time of 2:13.26 and 814 points.
Tom Hamer set the qualification time needed for the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games in the heats and finals of the men’s 200m S14 freestyle.
In the heats he set a time of 1:57.27 and broke the British record. In the final he clocked 1:57.49 and secured gold with a score of 969.
“It’s been a good day today,” Hamer said. “I’m a bit disappointed with the time. I should have gone quicker in the final but I paced it a lot better tonight.
“It would mean the world to me to go to the Paralympics this summer hopefully I get there and I’ll be in the mix.”
Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd won the final gold medal of the evening after finishing the 400m free in a time of 4:24.69, just outside of his world record.
“Coming into the Championships getting that consideration time was what it was all about,” Hynd said. “To make the consideration time for Rio was the goal coming in and I’ve smashed that. I’m really chuffed.
“It would mean everything to me to swim in Rio. I guess London was special because it was my home country but just that feeling of representing your country at a Paralympics Games is the most special feeling in the world.”
Josef Craig (S7) won the silver medal with a total of 878 with a time of 4:36.06 and bronze went to Stephen Clegg (S13) who touched in 4:19.17. Clegg also set a new British record in the heats with a time of 4:19.14.