The IPC Swimming European Championships started today in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and the British Gas GBR Para-Swimming Team won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals to kick the competition off to a great start.
World record holder Ellie Simmonds claimed her third S6 400m European title in a row, winning by nearly seven seconds to touch in 5:28.31. “It wasn’t the best of times for me but to come to my third Europeans and get a gold medal is pretty pleasing,” Simmonds said.
Susie Rodgers won the team’s second gold of the day in the S7 400m Freestyle, to retain her European crown in a time of 5:22.74. “I had a race plan and I knew what I was going to do when I went in,” Rodgers said. “It was quite an interesting field so I didn’t know how everyone was going to go but I enjoyed it.”
Fresh from winning silver at Glasgow 2014 Steph Slater won gold in the S8 100m Backstroke, touching two seconds ahead of the rest of the field in 1:17.42 (PB). “I didn’t expect to go that fast to be honest as it’s not a main stroke of mine. Hopefully I can go even faster when I swim it next time,” Slater said.
World Champion Amy Marren secured her first European Championship medal with silver in the S9 50m Freestyle in a time of 30.00. Teammate Claire Cashmore finished in sixth place in 31.10.
GBR’s second silver came from Jack Thomas winning his first European medal in the S14 100m Backstroke (1:03.44.), with Aaron Moores finishing just behind in 1:03.50 for the bronze. Craig Harris finished in fifth place in a time of 1:06.23.
Multi-world medallist Andrew Mullen took the silver medal in the S5 100m Freestyle with a time of 1:18.44 – just 0.02 off his PB.
Jessica-Jane Applegate swam the S14 100m Backstroke in a time of 1:08.57 to win bronze, while Chloe Davies just missed the medals after finishing in 1:08.83 for fourth place.
Rob Welbourn finished in fifth place with a time of 26.01 in the S10 50m Freestyle while Alice Tai lowered her PB to 29.61 in the women’s S10 50m Freestyle.
Ollie Hynd finished in fourth place in the S8 100m Backstroke with a time of 1:06.74. Matthew Wylie secured a time of 27.24 for eighth place in the S9 50m Freestyle.