Great Britain’s Bethany Firth set the 100m breaststroke SB14 world record on Thursday (26 March), on the first day of competition of the 2015 British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Firth set the new world standard at 1:14.40 in the heats and swam to 1:15.04 in the final. She recorded 1,032 points to take the gold medal.
Firth also swam more than two seconds under the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships qualification time to put herself in contention for selection at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the same pool where the Worlds will be held from 13-19 July.
She commented: “I’m really happy with this morning’s swim and I was quite shocked to have got that because it is breaststroke and I’m not really a breaststroke swimmer but it just shows that my hard training and work have been paying off.
“I would have liked to have gone a wee bit faster this evening but it was still a faster than my overall PB [personal best].”
Sweden’s Maja Reichard in the S11 category secured the silver medal in a time of 1:28.97 and a points score of 947. Charlotte Henshaw (SB6) claimed the bronze medal with a total of 849 points after clocking 1:40.85.
The men’s 100m breaststroke title was taken by Britain’s Scott Quin who impressed throughout the heats and final.
Like Firth, Quin (SB14) also swam under the IPC Swimming World Championships qualification time twice through the day but won the gold medal with a time of 1:07.53 and a total of 963.
“I am happy with my swims and my performance today,” Quin said. “This morning I was surprised how I swam myself. I got a bit of a shock but it’s been working really well in training so I was on form for a good swim.
“This evening’s race was just about staying relaxed because this morning I was quite tense so my coach said ‘stay relaxed and enjoy it’ so that was my focus.
“To hit the time and have the World Championships here in July is pretty insane. I can’t wait.”
Sweden’s Karl Forsman (SB5) won the silver with a time of 1:34.41 and a total of 910 and Aaron Moores (SB14) won the bronze with a score of 881 after touching in at 1:09.57.
The British team tasted success once again as S12 swimmer Hannah Russell equalled the 100m freestyle qualification standard with a 1:00.01, putting herself in contention for a place on the Glasgow 2015 team and securing the silver medal with 922 points.
Canadian Aurelie Rivard took the victory in the women’s 100m freestyle and in doing so set a new Americas record of 1:00.75 in the S10 category.
Lyndon Longhorne (SB3) broke his own British record in the men’s 50m breaststroke with a time of 1:00.63 and took silver with a total of 512 points.
Also swimming under the qualification time on day one of the international meet was Claire Cashmore of Wyre Forest, a 1:21.16 in the 100m Breaststroke (SB8).
Action continues in Glasgow until Sunday (29 March).
The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships will feature around 650 athletes from 50 countries and will be the last major gathering of international swimmers ahead of Rio 2016.
All records are subject to ratification by IPC Swimming.