Sunday, June 12, 2022

Golden start for Clegg at Madeira World Championships

It was a dream start for Stephen Clegg at the World Para Swimming World Championships, with the 26-year-old winning gold for S12 100m backstroke on the opening day in Madeira.

The Edinburgh University student broke the British Record at both 50m and 100m, as he powered to victory in a time of 1:00.03. Friend and rival Raman Salei (AZE) took silver in 1:00.71, with Borja Sanz Tamayo (ESP) winning bronze in 1:09.52.

Clegg said of his victory,

“I had Covid two weeks ago so come away with a PB that big in an event I’m not historically that strong in is great. It is also nice to have a bit of reassurance for the events I’m focussing on this week, hopefully this is a good sign for what’s to come.”

Speaking about the event, Clegg said,

“I started as a back stroker many years ago so it’s quite poetic that my first Paralympic medal was in backstroke and my first world title is in backstroke. There’s obviously still a bit of a back stroker left inside me. But, my focus has been on Fly for the last five years, hopefully tomorrow will be good.”

While Clegg may be racing again tomorrow, he was still going to enjoy the moment. He said,

“For the next few hours I’m going to enjoy this. Raman (Salei) touched me out in Tokyo, so it’s nice to get a bit of revenge there. We get on very well but good to have that moment of redemption. I’ll enjoy the moment, but then calm down, reset and focus for my main event tomorrow.”

East Lothian’s Sam Downie impressed on his GBR and World Championships debut, with a PB in the S8 400m freestyle. 16 year old Downie, who is coached by Jamie Ward, made the final and finished seventh overall in a time of 4:51.62. He said of his performance,

“I’m over the moon with that, I wasn’t too sure if I’d be able to get near that time again. It felt a lot harder this afternoon but I’m very pleased with that swim”

On taking confidence into tomorrow where he’ll compete in the S8 100m backstroke, Downie said,

“It definitely makes me know how everything works, I feel like it was a very good thing that I managed to make the final to understand how the whole competition works and it’s given me a lot more confidence going into tomorrow which I’d say is my favourite event.”

Full schedules and results from Madeira 2022 can be found here.

Details on all GBR results can be found here.