The ParalympicsGB swimming team stated their intent at London 2012 this morning, with world champion Nyree Kindred (pictured) clocking a Paralympic record to qualify fastest for tonight’s S6 100m Backstroke final.
The 2004 Paralympic champion, who missed last season to have a child with British teammate and husband Sascha Kindred, led her race out before returning to touch in 1:27.96.
But with China’s Lu Dong (1:28.18) having also ducked under the old Paralympic record to qualify second fastest and defending champion Mirjam de Koning-Peper third fastest, Kindred insisted she is taking nothing for granted in the final.
“A few of those girls who made the final are capable of a lot more as well so we’ll just have to watch this space and see what happens,” said Kindred.
“At previous Games it’s really been about the other athletes so it’s uplifting to hear them cheering for you and it spurs you on.”
Teenager Hannah Russell will also have lane four in her first Paralympic final after qualifying fastest in the S12 400m Freestyle.
The 16-year old – who holds the short course world record for the event – smashed her own British record by 3.5 seconds to lead qualifiers in 4:41.25.
And Russell – making her Paralympic debut – admitted she was pleased with such an encouraging performance in her first appearance of the Games.
“I’m really happy do a PB in my first race here,” said Russell. “That’s what I’ll try to do for the rest of the Games and if anything else comes along as a result, I’ll be really pleased.
“Competing in front of a home crowd in a home pool at the Paralympic Games is a dream come true for me.
“The crowd were amazing so to perform in front of them was really exciting and something I’d been looking forward to.”
Susie Rodgers also impressed on her first Paralympic appearance as she qualified third fastest for tonight’s S7 100m Backstroke final.
The European champion was just 0.26 off her season’s best as she touched in 1:26.09 to progress.
“It’s good to get that first one out of the way,” said Rodgers. “It looks like it will be fast tonight but I knew it would be.
“Backstroke isn’t really main my event but it’s great to get in and get a feel for the crowd. It’s a fantastic atmosphere out there.”
Stephanie Millward and Claire Cashmore made smooth progress from the S9 100m Butterfly heats, progressing fourth and sixth fastest respectively.
British record holder Millward finished third in her heat in 1:13.12 while Cashmore clocked a season’s best 1:13.26 to join her compatriot in the final.
Harriet Lee and Gemma Almond made the SM10 200m Individual Medley final in the first Paralympic races of their respective careers.
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Image credit: onEdition