Marren leads British clean sweep for first World title
The British Gas GBR Disability Swimming team celebrated another medal haul on day two of the IPC Swimming World Championships with a total of 10 medals and two gold medals.
Amy Marren celebrated her 15th birthday a day early, leading a British clean sweep of the SM9 200m Individual Medley medals to secure her first World title in Montreal and help the Brits to second in the medal table with a total of 20 medals.
After beginning her session with a fourth place in the S9 50m Freestyle, Marren put in an emphatic performance in her second final of the night, leading from gun to wall to take gold by more than six seconds in 2:33.95.
Marren’s teammates Steph Millward and Claire Cashmore battled it out for silver and bronze, eventually touching for their medals in 2:40.29 and 2:41.50 respectively.
Having also won silver in the S9 100m Freestyle on the opening night in Montreal, Marren admitted it had been a dream start to her debut World Championships. She said:
“I can honestly say it’s the best birthday present ever, I’ve finished tonight on a high ahead of a rest day tomorrow and I’m absolutely over the moon. I could have hoped for a bit faster on the time but I’m not complaining with a gold medal at all. My tactic was just to give it my all the whole race and not fall asleep as my coach would put it. I’ve been training hard on this event over the past year and pushed myself to the absolute limit so I’m really happy tonight.”
Cashmore had also swum the S9 50m Free earlier in the session, clocking 30.56 to finish sixth, one place behind Marren on 30.08.
Having set a British record for S8 100m Backstroke bronze on the opening night, Hynd also bagged his first World title in the SM8 200m Individual Medley.
Hynd has been untouchable over 200m IM over the past two years, claiming the European and Paralympic titles in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
But the 18-year old was made to fight hard to add the World crown, trailing Russia’s Konstantin Lisenkov (2:23.48) until the final 25m when he pulled clear to touch in 2:22.76 – both athletes sailing under Hynd’s old European record of 2:24.63. Hynd said:
"It feels absolutely amazing and it’s a dream come true to have all three titles. It was a tough race and painful in the end but I love to race so it was fun and I enjoyed it. It was really special hearing the national anthem at London last year and it’s fantastic to be in that same position again here."
Oliver’s older brother Sam was also locked in a tussle for the podium, ultimately finishing just 0.04 seconds shy of bronze as he clocked 2:30.89, narrowly beaten to the wall by China’s Wang Jiachao.
There were also silver medals for Stephanie Slater, Hannah Russell and Rob Welbourn and bronzes for Sascha Kindred, Tully Kearney and Charlotte Henshaw on the second day in Canada.
Having set a five-second personal best of 2:45.87 in the heats, international newcomer Slater sliced another five seconds off her PB in the final, claiming the European record as she scooped silver in the SM8 200m Individual Medley.
Slater gave USA’s 12-time Paralympic champion Jessica Long a battle for the top spot, turning within a second of the world record holder before eventually coming home in 2:40.37 as Long took gold in 2:37.11.
Welbourn set a season’s best 4:09.71 in the S10 400m Freestyle final, claiming a medal at his third consecutive IPC World Championships, having won silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010.
Russell collected her second silver of her debut Championships, posting a season’s best 1:09.42 in the S12 100m Butterfly final to add to her silver from the S12 100m Freestyle on the opening day.
Competing in her first major final at just 16-years old, Kearney smashed her British record by three seconds as she claimed S10 400m Freestyle bronze in 4:42.37.
In contrast, Kindred landed his 15th World medal with a season’s best 1:23.68, his SB7 100m Breaststroke bronze meaning the 35-year old has won a medal at all six stagings of the IPC World Championships.
Henshaw is no stranger to the international podium either and bagged the second World medal of her career with a 1:42.24 effort for SB6 100m Breaststroke bronze.
Ellie Simmonds followed Henshaw home, lowering her personal best from the heats to 1:43.16 as she finished fourth.
James Crisp and James Clegg were the other two Brits in action in Canada, finishing fifth and sixth in their respective finals.
Competing at his fourth World Champs, Crisp was just 0.05 seconds shy of his British record as he touched in 2:19.90 in the SM9 200m Individual Medley final while Worlds debutant Clegg clocked 1:00.44 in the S12 100m Butterfly.