“I just wanted to qualify for tonight and I ended up doing the world record! I should try doing that more often!”
Australian Paralympic champion Ellie Cole cemented her comeback from a serious shoulder injury on Monday (13 July), with a new women’s 100m backstroke S9 world record in the heats of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Cole, who had shoulder surgery in 2012 which nearly ruled her out of competitive swimming, sensationally brought down Canadian Stephanie Dixon’s seven-year-old mark to 1:08.89 to set the first world record of her career.
“I walked into this competition not knowing what to expect,” Cole said. “I just wanted to qualify for tonight and I ended up doing the world record! I should try doing that more often!”
Great Britain’s Tully Kearney (1.11.17) will be one to watch in the finals having qualified second fastest, followed by Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto (1:11.70).
Glasgow’s own Andrew Mullen (37.29) also showed the home crowds that he means business, setting a new European record in the heats of the men’s 50m backstroke S5.
The 18-year-old went quicker than world and Paralympic gold medallist Daniel Dias (37.41) to set up a tantalising face-off in the finals.
Mullen said: “It’s always nice to have my main event as the first one and to start off the meet with a PB [personal best] and European record, I can’t complain. Everyone can always go faster, I’ll just go back and start looking at what I can improve on and go even quicker tonight.”
Turkey’s Beytullah Eroglu (39.64) was third fastest, whilst New Zealand’s Cameron Leslie (41.95) set a new Oceania record to also qualify.
Mullen’s teammate, women’s 400m freestyle world and Paralympic champion Eleanor Simmonds (5:25.97), also went quickest in her heat. Her main rival in Glasgow, Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko (5:28.18), was second.
“First swim and it felt really good,” Simmonds said. “It’s going to be really tough against her [Mereshko] so I know it’s going to be a good race. 400m free is one of my favourite events, it made me who I am after winning gold in Beijing .”
Rounding off a great start for the British team, James Crisp (1:04.43) qualified fastest in the men’s 100m backstroke S9.
Belarusian London 2012 silver medallist Ihar Boki (23.43) set a new Championships record in the men’s 50m freestyle S13 to qualify ahead of Ukraine’s Iaraslov Denysenko (24.48) and Brazilian Carlos Farrenburg (24.50).
Russia’s 2013 silver medallist Anna Krivshina (27.83) also brought down the Championships record in the women’s 50m freestyle S13. Her compatriot Denis Tarasov (1:01.47) leads the field in the men’s 100m butterfly S8.
The Netherlands’ Magda Toeters (1:16.08) put in a flying performance in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB14, setting a new Championships record. Spanish world and Paralympic champion Michelle Alonso (1:18.56) was second, and Toeter’s teammate Marlou van der Kulk (1:20.44) third.
The strong performances continued for the Dutch with world champion Marc Evers (1:07.53) qualifying fastest in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14, closely followed by home favourite Scot Quin (1:07.98). Russia’s Viacheslav Emeliantsev (1:09.12) was third.
World champion and the most decorated athlete from 2013, Ukrainian Dmytro Vynohradets (3:37.09), went quickest in the men’s 200m freestyle S3. Russia’s Alexander Makarov (3:40.69) and Italian Vincenzo Boni (3:44.59) completed the top three.
Brazil’s Phelipe Rodrigues (23.89) will lead Canada’s Nathan Stein (24.07) and world and Paralympic champion teammate Andre Brasil (24.36) into the final in what is expected to be a sensational race.
Canadian youngster Aurelie Rivard, 19, qualified fastest with a new Americas record in the women’s 50m freestyle S10 (28.03), piling the pressure on New Zealand’s world champion Sophie Pascoe (28.31) and Dutch Paralympic champion Summer Mortimer (28.51).
US Paralympic champion Bradley Snyder is on course to collect his first world title this evening in the men’s 100m freestyle S11, after setting a new Championships record of 57.59. Brazil’s Matheus Souza (1:00.55) and Paralympic medallist Hendri Herbst (1:00.85) follow Snyder into the finals.
The USA’s reigning world champion Cortney Jordan (1:13.17) qualified fastest in the women’s event, just ahead of Great Britain’s Susannah Rodgers (1:13.62) and Russian Ani Palian (1:14.90).
New Zealand’s world champion Mary Fisher (1:10.59) qualified faster than German 2013 silver medallist Daniela Schulte (1:12.14) to set-up a re-run of their women’s 100m freestyle S11 finals clash from two years ago.
South Korea’s Giseong Jo (3:02.11) heads into the men’s 200m freestyle S4 as the fastest qualifier ahead of Russian Roman Zhdanov (3:05.95) and Mexican world and Paralympic champion Gustavo Sanchez (3:07.02).
The Czech Republic’s Bela Trebinova (45.56) leads out Norway’s multiple world and Paralympic gold medallist Sarah-Louise Rung (45.99) in the women’s 50m backstroke S5. Spain’s European champion Teresa Perales (47.44) is also in the mix.
Australian London 2012 silver medallist Matthew Levy (1:02.93) went fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle S7, whilst Irish world and Paralympic champion Darragh McDonald (5:11.26) was quickest in the men’s 400m freestyle S6.
Completing the heats was a European record for team Ukraine (2:35.46) in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay 20 points. Russia (2:35.54) were a close second and Italy (2:39.75) third.
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The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships will feature around 580 athletes from nearly 70 countries and will be one of the biggest qualification opportunities for Rio 2016.
Tickets are still available and all seven days of action will be shown live at Glasgow2015.com alongside live results between 13-19 July.
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