Sunday, August 19, 2018

Perfect ten for for GB on final night in Dublin with Clegg, Shaw and Mullen among medals

Toni Shaw claimed her second Gold medal of the 2018 World Para Swimming European Championships as part of the Women’s 34pts 4x100m medley relay as the meet drew to a close.

The 15-year-old Scot rounded off a wonderful week with victory by taking in the butterfly lengths of the race and standing atop the podium alongside Alice Tai, Maisie Summers-Newton and Zara Mullooly, after winning in 4:53.62.

Earlier on in the night, Shaw finished fifth in her individual final, the Women's S9 50m freestyle. And Andrew Mullen soared to a silver medal in the Men’s S5 50m butterfly, his time of 37.28 securing a podium finish..

Reflecting on his silver medal performance Mullen said: “Yeah it was good swim, the time was slightly off my PB, I haven’t done a great deal of fly work because my focus this season has been the 50m backstroke but still very happy with both of today’s swims.

“I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about the execution of the race, although it was only a few one-hundredths better than this morning the process felt a whole lot better, so really happy with that.

“This meet has been a good learning experience for me, it sets me up nicely for the next two years going into Tokyo, I will reflect on what went well and what did and then move forward from there.”

He joined Tukey’s Beytullah Eroglu and Yaroslav Semenyenko of Ukraine on the podium, they took bronze and gold respectively.

Sunderland-based Scot Stephen Clegg picked up his second medal of the meet also, with Bronze in the S12 100m butterfly. Clegg's time of 57.97 was also fast enough to set a new Scottish Record. Clegg was leading with 25m to go but was hauled in by Dzmitry Salei of Belarus and Iaroslav Denysenko of Ukraine.

And Scotland's Conner Morrison ranked seventh in the Men's SM14 200m individual medley following an interesting turn of events, which also saw Brit Tom Hamer upgraded from fourth to third and collect the bronze medal when Dutch swimmer Mark Evers who finished second disqualified. Teammate Jordan Catchpole was placed fifth.

Elsewhere for the British team, the Women’s SM14 individual medley saw a third clean sweep of the medals as Bethany Firth pulled away from the field to comfortably claim the gold medal in a time of 2:22.82. She finished ahead of Jessica-Jane Applegate and Louise Fiddes.

Michael Jones won Gold in the Men's S7 400m freestyle and there was a Silver Eleanor Robinson in the S6 100m freestyle.

Reflecting on the seven days of racing in the Irish capital, British Para-Swimming Head Coach Rob Aubry said: “We came into this competition with the aim of creating a learning environment and developing an opportunity for those younger athletes and also our senior athletes looking more at their second and third events.

“One of the main targets was to achieve a high rate of heats to finals progression and of that we’ve done with 93% in that area which is a great step up from previous events and games that we’ve been to.

“I’m really happy with the way that the athletes have conducted themselves, tried new things in warm-up, they’ve been professional from the moment they walk through the pool doors and it’s a great privilege to work with a team like that.

Speaking more specifically about the team’s medal target coming into the championships, “We looked at piecing together a World’s team so that we can build on it going forward, we brought out a small team and to reach that medal target, let alone smash it is a great achievement for the whole team here."