Ellie Simmonds stormed to the fifth Paralympic title of her career with 200m Individual Medley gold at Rio 2016.
The 21-year-old from Boldmere beat the three minute marker for the first time in the final, touching in 2:59.81. She finished more than three seconds clear of China’s Song Lingling (3:03.19) who won silver.
SM6 classification swimmer Simmonds said: “This means so much, it was such a hard race and I’m so happy that I could finally go below three minutes.
“I just want to enjoy this but I’ve got the 400m freestyle tomorrow, so I can’t get too excited.
“I was so nervous before that race, I thought I was going to be sick, I don’t know what to feel but I’m so, so happy.
“I’ve been wanting that time for so long, I’ve been so close and I just wanted to be the first under three minutes.
“It was a secret target that I set myself that I’ve not told anyone, not even my coach or family. I’m so chuffed, I just can’t believe it.”
Simmonds’ result in Rio continues one of the most impressive winning records in Paralympic swimming.
The youngster has now been unbeaten in the SM6 200m Individual Medley event since the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
She won World titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015, European crowns in 2009, 2011 and 2014 and Paralympic gold at London 2012.
Simmonds also becomes the first British female swimmer to win Paralympic gold at three consecutive Games for 24 years.
Blind swimmer Janice Burton was the last to achieve the feat across the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games.