29 October 2020
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Paralympics: Simmonds storms to world record

August 16, 2010

The World Championships in Eindhoven kicked off with the perfect start for the British Disability Swimming Team, as Double Paralympic Champion Eleanor Simmonds knocked four seconds off her own world record to win gold in the S6 400m Freestyle in a time of 5:27.64.

With almost a ten-second lead at the half-way point, Simmonds was racing against the clock to push further ahead, drawing out a nearly 20-second lead as the race entered the final 50m.

“I am so shocked with that,” Swansea-based Simmonds said. “The world record was always the aim for me but I didn’t expect to take that much of a chunk off it. I didn’t get a PB at the British Champs so I was hoping for it here.”

She continued, “The plan for the race was to just go out as hard as I could. In the race I felt that I was racing it on my own and when I turned around to see that I had won it with a PB I was so happy.”

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Related Stories:

Swimming: Britain’s Sophie Smith secures second gold medal

Paralympic Swimming: GB swimmers shine on last day of the BT Paralympic World Cup

Paralympics: Simmonds amongst top swimmers set to compete at World Cup

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Fran Williamson also made an excellent start to her campaign, taking silver in the Women’s S3 50m Freestyle. Williamson put in a great performance over the final 25m, but the wall came just too soon for her to catch the leader. She finished second in a time of 1:04.60.

She said afterwards, “I feel quite good with that medal. It was quite unexpected but I really hoped I would have medalled in the race. I felt good in the water but I really didn’t realise how close to her I was when it finished.”

Stephanie Millward also won her first medal of the Championships, landing bronze in the Women’s S9 100m Butterfly in a time of 1:11.07, whilst elsewhere Fran O’Connor finished sixth in the Women’s S7 400m Freestyle and Charlotte Henshaw timed a new personal best of 3:04.56 in the Women’s SM 8 200m Individual Medley, finishing eighth.

National Performance Director John Atkinson commented on his team’s first-night performance, “I feel satisfied with the performance…Coming away with ten medals gives the team a solid start to the six-day meet which I know the athletes can build on.”

He continued, “There was an outstanding effort from Eleanor Simmonds to break the world record. She swam much of the race against the clock and to come out with that result is testament to the work that she is undertaking at the High Performance Centre in Swansea with her coach Billy Pye. The number of medals from the 400m is promising and it shows the strength and depth that we have in that event and which we can build on as we look toward London 2012.”

Anna Young, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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  1. Pingback: Swimming: Gold all around for Team GB at World Championships - Sportsister - The Women's Sports Magazine | Sportsister

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