Great Britain Aims to Close Gap on Ukraine in Berlin

05 Jul 2011 By IPC

Great Britain will fancy their chances of overtaking Ukraine in the medals table tonight at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Championships in Berlin, Germany after enjoying an excellent morning in the heats.

The third morning of the event saw heats take place in 12 different events and Great Britain came out on top in many of the opening exchanges.

The first event of the day, the Men’s 400m Freestyle S8, saw Great Britain have the three fastest qualifiers and ensured tonight’s final will be a family affair. World record holder Sam Hynd (4:31.83) led the way, ahead of his brother Oliver (4:35.79) and Thomas Young (4:39.76).

Great Britain might also fancy their chances of a clean sweep of the medals in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S8 final after three of their swimmers qualified quickest. Heather Frederiksen (4:58.09), the world record holder was fastest, while teammate Emma Hollis (5:27.31) set a personal best. Silver medalist from yesterday Charlotte Henshaw (5:39.21) was third fastest.

Anders Olsson (34.42) of Sweden, the first gold medal winner of these Championships, was second fastest in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S6 qualifiers. Greece’s Panagiotis Christakis (33.58) qualified first, with Ukraine’s 100m Breaststroke SB6 European champion Yevhemiy Bohodayko (34.57) third.

World-record holder Mirjam de Koning-Peper (35.19) of the Netherlands is on course to win gold after qualifying fastest in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S6. Second fastest was Great Britain’s Eleanor Simmonds (37.90) and Denmark’s Tanja Groepper third (38.15)

Great Britain’s Matthew Walker (29.35) and Jonathan Fox (29.60) were fastest qualifiers in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S7. Third was Ukraine’s Oleksandr Komarov (29.91).

Another Brit Susannah Rodgers (34.18) was fastest in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S7 and is on course to win her second gold of the Championships. Second was Ukraine’s Ani Palian while Germany’s multi-Paralympic medal winner Kirsten Bruhn (34.89) was third

Hungary will be hoping to win their first gold medal in the Men’s 50m Backstroke S5 after Zsolt Vereczkei (41.36) qualified fastest. He was nearly two seconds ahead of France’s Hayri Simsek (43.03) and Great Britain’s Anthony Stephens (43.92).

It is likely two Russians will go head-to-head for gold in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB9 after Denis Dorogaev (1:12.71) and Pavel Poltavtsev (1:12.74) were the fastest qualifiers. Third quickest was France’s Vincent Rupp (1:13.00)

The gold medal winner of yesterday’s Women’s 200m Individual Medley, Great Britain’s Louise Watkin, will be hoping to win her second gold in tonight’s Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB9 final. She (1:23.31) led the field in qualification ahead of Spain’s Sarai Gascon (1:23.41) and Russia’s Nina Ryabova (1:24.01).

World record holder Makarau Raman (1:11.10) was more than a second quicker than his nearest rivals in qualification in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S12. Second fastest was Ukraine’s Anton Stabrovskyy (1:01.02) and Spain’s Albert Gelis (1:02.04) third.

Poland will be optimistic of landing their first gold of the Championships in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S12. World record holder and two-time world champion over the distance, Joanna Mendak (1:08.46), set a fast pace putting her ahead of Russia’s Darya Stukalova (1:09.17) and Great Britain’s Hannah Russell (1:13.13).

European record holder in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S4, David Smetanine (39.36) was fastest in the heats ahead of Spain’s Richard Oribe (39.84) and Ukraine’s Eskender Mustafaiev.

Tonight’s action, will which see 25 medal events starting from 16:00. So far Ukraine leads the medals table with a haul of 28, including 12 gold medals.