Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amazing Abby Swims to Silver in Rio

ParalympicsGB signed off from the swimming competition in style by securing another nine medals, including three more golds, 4 more silvers and 2 more bronzes and bringing GBR’s overall swimming medal tally to 47 (16 golds, 16 silvers, 15 bronzes).

Two of those medals were won by Scottish swimmers Abby Kane and Andy Mullen, bringing the Scottish contribution to five, a superb achievement.

Kane, the youngest member of ParalympicsGB at 13, was the fastest qualifier for the S13 100m backstroke final, having posted a heat time of 1:09.09, a new Paralympic Record and a two second PB.

In the final, the youngster from Largs started strongly but Anna Stetsenko, the 24 year old from Ukraine, used her experience and timed her race well, taking over the lead from Kane just after the turn. Stetsenko powered to the wall, touching home for gold in 1:08.30, a new Paralympic Record. Kane kept her cool and came home in 1:09.30 for the silver medal while Katja Dedekind (AUS) won bronze in 1:12.25. After the race, an overwhelmed Kane said,

“I don’t know how I feel, I’m speechless but so, so happy.  I didn’t even expect to get to Rio let alone medal; it’s a lot to take in.

“I’ve loved being part of ParalympicsGB and have got on really well with everyone on the swimming team. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve got to know people here that my brother (Fraser) knew when he competed so that’s been really special.”

The very next race, Andrew Mullen was back in action in the S5 100m freestyle final, an event he won gold at in Funchal earlier in the year at the IPC Swimming European Championships.

Up against familiar rivals, namely Daniel Dias (BRA) and Roy Perkins (USA), Mullen flew off the blocks and again had a superb under water phase. The rest of the field soon caught up and Mullen turned 7th at the half way point.

The gold and silver medals had effectively been won at this stage (Dias taking gold in 1:10.11 and Perkins the silver in 1:14.56), but Mullen still had a lot of work to do if he wanted a return trip to the podium with Sebastian Rodriguez (ESP) and Thanh Tùng Vo (VIE) ahead of him.

Mullen increased his pace overtaking both Vo and Rodriguez and came home in 1:15.93 for the bronze medal.

Other GBR medallists were Ollie Hynd – Gold, SM8 200m IM; Hannah Russell – Gold SM8 200m IM; Bethany Firth – Gold SM14 200m IM; Jessica-Jane Applegaate – Silver SM14 200m IM; Tom Hamer – Silver SM14 200m IM; Stephanie Millward – Silver SM8 200m IM; Ellie Robinson – Bronze S6 100m freestyle.

The full results and schedule for the swimming competition can be found here: