Brits win four World golds on day five in Glasgow
It was a night to remember for the British Para-Swimming team as Ollie Hynd, Sascha Kindred, Ellie Simmonds and Tully Kearney all struck gold in front of a home crowd at the Glasgow 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Tollcross.
There was also a silver medal for Jessica-Jane Applegate and bronze for Alice Tai as the British team racked up six medals to take their overall tally to 24.
Of the four gold medallists, both Hynd and Simmonds set world records and Kearney a European record while Kindred toughed out a nail-biting finish which saw the top three touch home within half a second of each other.
Having suffered the disappointed of relinquishing her S6 400m Freestyle crown on the opening day in Glasgow, Simmonds bounced back in style in the SM6 200m Individual Medley, sailing more than three seconds under her old world marker.
After qualifying fastest from the morning heats, the 20-year old pulled clear of the field in the breaststroke leg of the final before powering home in 3:01.02 – more than five seconds ahead of Ukraine’s silver medallist Yelyzaveta Mereshko (3:06.08).
“I really wanted that gold medal but I’m so shocked with the time,” said Simmonds, who has won the SM6 200m Individual Medley crown for the past three IPC World Championships.
“I wanted to swim a 3:03 but I just don’t know where the 3:01 came from.
“Getting the silver in the 400m Freestyle really hurt me so I’m just so happy to be on top of that podium again now.
“It has been a tough few days since the 400m Free. That was my event but sometimes you have to have those days where you have a setback and maybe I wouldn’t have gone so fast today if I hadn’t had that.”
Hynd continued his perfect start to the competition as he clinched his second gold of the meet in the S8 400m Freestyle with a poignant world record.
The 20-year old, who claimed the SM8 200m Individual Medley title two days ago, has made no secret of his desperation to beat his brother Sam’s world record, set more than five years ago in Manchester.
And after some near misses in recent seasons, Hynd finally ducked under his brother’s marker, clocking 4:24.32 to defend his world title and finish more than nine seconds clear of the field with China’s Paralympic champion Wang Yinan second in 4:33.47.
“I’ve been shooting for that for a while,” admitted Hynd. “I had 4:24 in my head as the time I thought I was capable of so I’m so chuffed to go out there and do it.
“I’m sure Sam will be happy for me. I think he’s ready to see it go now. If he hadn’t set the standard so high, I wouldn’t have swum so fast tonight.
“It’s been the best meet of my life so far. I thought I was in great shape coming in because I’d put a lot of work in. You never know until you get in there and swim but I’m delighted that I’ve been able to achieve what I have.”
Kindred had his sights set on winning a fifth consecutive World title in the SM6 200m Individual Medley but the 37-year old was forced to dig deep in the final 50m to hold on to his crown.
Locked in a three-way tussle for the title throughout the final length, the partisan crowd wildly cheered the Brit home to take the touch in a Championship record 2:41.41 from Colombia’s Nelson Crispin (2:41.84) and Brazil’s Talisson Glock (2:41.87).
“I don’t think I’ve had a race I hated so much,” said Kindred, who is competing at his seventh World Championships in Glasgow.
“I came to these Championships wanting to defend the title for the fourth time and there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders being the elder statesman of the team.
“That one meant so much to me though – I’m chuffed with that.”
In contrast to her three teammates, Kearney collected the first World title of her career in Glasgow with a gutsy performance in the S9 100m Butterfly final.
The 18-year old took the initiative during the opening 50m, turning first at the half way stage before holding off the field to touch in 1:09.04 ahead of Spanish pair Sarai Gascon (1:09.31) and Nuria Marques Soto (1:10.01).
“I can’t believe it – I’m over the moon,” said Tearney. “I obviously hoped to win it because I’d qualified first but I know how good Sarai is and that I’d have to pull something out of the bag to beat her.
“This is the first time I’ve won an international gold and listened to the national anthem on the podium – it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”
Jessica-Jane Applegate secured her second silver of the Championships with a personal best in the SM14 200m Individual Medley.
While Russia’s Valeriia Shabalina clocked a world record 2:21.33 to take gold, Applegate sliced 1.59 seconds off her old PB with a 2:25.78 effort to follow her home.
Teenager Alice Tai continued her impressive IPC Swimming World Championship debut with her third bronze medal in two nights.
Having finished third in the S10 100m Backstroke and as part of the British 34pt 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet last night, the 16-year old returned to bag another bronze in the S10 100m Butterfly, coming home in 1:09.57.
Thomas Hamer and Andrew Mullen were the other two Brits in action on day five, finishing fourth in their respective finals.
Hamer clocked a British record 2:16.47 in the SM14 200m Individual Medley, missing out on the podium by 0.66 seconds while Mullen was just 0.06 seconds shy of bronze as he clocked a PB 34.94 in the S5 50m Freestyle.