Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Impressive GBR and Paralympic debut for Kane

It was a superb night in the pool for ParalympicsGB with a hat-trick of gold medals won in quick succession by Sasha Kindred (SM6 200m IM), Ellie Simmonds (SM6 200m IM) and Susie Rodgers (S7 50m butterfly). The golds from Kindred and Simmonds were won in World Record times (2:38.47 and 2:59.81 respectively); the gold from Rodgers was a new European record (35.07).

She only turned 13 around five weeks ago but today Abby Kane performed like a seasoned pro in the final of the 400m freestyle (S13) at the Rio Paralympic Games.

Kane (Ren 96), making her GBR debut, had posted a personal best in the heats to secure her place in the final. And in the final itself she made sure she wasn’t just making up the numbers she was there to compete. The youngster from Largs paced her race well and she touched home in 4:49.27, taking another 3 seconds off her PB and placed her 6th.

Gold went to Rebecca Myers (USA) in a new world record time of 4:19.59, silver was won by Ana Stetsenko (UKR) in 4:24.18 and bronze went to Ariadna Edo Beltram in 4:43.49.

Andy Mullen took to the blocks for his third event of this competition, the S5 50m freestyle. The Ren 96 athlete, who finished the same event in 8th place back in London 2012 (38.08), had another superb start and powered his way to a time of 34.87, a lifetime best and 5th overall for the event.

Gold went to home favourite Daniel Dias (BRA) in 32.78, silver was won be Thanh Tung Vo (VIE) in 33.94, while Roy Perkins (USA) secured bronze in 34.42.

After the event Mullen said,

“We’ve had a fantastic night in the pool. Seeing Ellie and Sasha win gold and then Susie win gold really motivated me for that swim.

“I love racing in front of this crowd, the atmosphere has been pretty special tonight and that was a great PB for me.”

Earlier in the day Stephen Clegg finished 9th after the heats of the S13 400m freestyle (S12) with a time of 4:23.07, well off his best. After the race Clegg suggested he had held back a bit due to a niggle with his shoulder but hoped he would have made it to the final. Clegg’s main event is the S12 100m backstroke, which takes place on Wednesday.