Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Clegg is top British athlete at the Lebara #RaceTheWorld event

Stephen Clegg was among the outstanding British swimmers in the inaugural Lebara's Race The World finals, producing a pair of brilliant performances to secure the Men's 50m and 100m Butterfly double in the virtual contest.

The Edinburgh University S12 swimmer recorded the first of his two wins in the Men's 50m Butterfly event in emphatic fashion, finishing strongly and touching in a time of 25.03, earning him 1111 points in the Lebara's Race The World points system. 

That was the highest single tally across the entire finals - and he was not far off repeating that feat in the 100m event, enjoying an intriguing battle with Japan's Kimura - an S11 athlete - throughout their four virtual lengths. 

Clegg proved dominant in his displays that he also won several of the cash prizes on offer, as the top overall Men's 50m and 100m performer (based on individual point’s tallies across all four strokes) and the top British man in both as well.

S9 competitor Toni Shaw (University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming) earned top-three finishes in each of her events. On top of winning the Women's 100m Butterfly, the 17-year-old - a six-time medallist at the London World Championships 15 months ago - was second behind Aurelie Rivard (S10) in the 50m Freestyle, before finishing third in the 100m category, after Rivard and British teammate Grace Harvey (S6). 

In the breaststroke categories, Japanese competitor Keiichi Kimura (SB11) showed what he will hope to do on home soil in next summer's rescheduled Paralympic Games by beating Conner Morrison (University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming) and Warrender Baths' man Scott Quin (both SB14) in the Men's 50m. 

Quin and Morrison served up impressive virtual responses in the 100m showdown, with both racking up in excess of 900 Race The World points. Quin just got the better of his compatriot, 958 to Morrison's 908 due to a 1.16-second margin of victory. The 100m event also saw Jack Milne (Dundee City Aquatics) and Gavin Roberts (City of Glasgow Swim Team) compete, resulting in a Scottish 1-2-3-4.

Scottish representation also included Abby Kane (University of Stirling), Katie Pake, Cameron Hemphill, Certy Venters-Scott (all Carnegie), Jason Cobb (Bucksburn) and Ollie Carter (University of Stirling).

With each athlete involved having been invited to submit their finals swim videos after qualifying in the top eight from November's heats, every contest was testament to the class and adaptability of those competing, following months of pool closures, limited training access and virtual workouts during the coronavirus pandemic.

With more instalments of the Lebara's Race The World series set to come in 2021, all of the athletes involved in these historic finals - as well as those who swam in the heats and those who were unable to due to ongoing restrictions - will soon have more chances to test themselves against rivals from across the globe, as this event looks to keep the para-swimming community connected in a time of limited or no in-venue competition. 

You can watch back every second of racing with the full Lebara's Race The World finals video HERE. 

Click HERE for the list of event winners.

Details courtesy of British Swimming