Swimmer celebrate successful morning in the pool

8th September 2008
by British Swimming

The third morning of heats saw all ParalympicsGB swimmer progress through to their finals after some strong swims in the Watercube in Beijing.

Nyree Lewis had the heats of her main event this morning, she featured as the top ranked athlete going into the women's S6 100m Backstroke.

She swam a well paced race and turned at the 50m in first place. She looked on course to break the Paralympic record she broke in Athens in 2004 and touched in a time of 1:30.34 to knock two second off the Paralympic record and qualify fastest for the final.

"I needed to be quicker this morning, but heats aren't about your fastest swim," Lewis said. "I have made the final and I am happy. The Chinese girl wasn't so fast in her heat so I know she has more to come. I wasn't maxed out so I have more in me for the final too. But this has been such an unpredictable meet so far that you just don't know what is going to happen."

ParalympicsGB swimmers Rob Welbourn and Graham Edmunds both featured in this morning's heats of the men's S10 100m Freestyle. Both athletes are fighting for a vital relay position and fast times in this event would put them in contention of a place.

Welbourn went in the first heat and found himself with an early lead. He swam an excellent final 50m and touched home in a new European record time of 54.57 to qualify as third fastest for the final.

"That was a big surprise," Welbourn said. "I wanted to go 55.5 so to go 54.5 was fantastic. I wasn't feeling 100% this morning but that was a great result."

Edmunds went in the second heat and after pacing himself well he finished in third place with a time of 55.64 and snatched the last remaining final place.

The men's S2 100m Freestyle saw Jim Anderson swimming in the first heat as he fought o reach this evening's final.

Competition for final places was tough ten athletes vying for only eight places but Anderson used his experience and swam an excellently timed heat to win it in a time of 2:26.23.

"That felt easy for me today," Anderson said. "I know I have enough to go and get a good time in the final. Seeing the Brazilian swim just now has driven me to want to succeed tonight. Also, winning my silver two days ago has given the thirst for more success."

In the second heat was the Russian Dmitry Kokarev, the athlete that beat Anderson in the 200m Freestyle, and he didn't disappoint with another promising swim. Kokarev qualified as the fastest athlete for the final in a time of 2:19.39 just in front of Anderson.

Sascha Kindred was back in the Watercube this morning after his excellent performance in the S6 200m Individual Medley. The Paralympic Champion was unexpectedly pushed all the way by the impressive Australian Blake Cochrane in the heat of the men's SB7 100m Breaststroke.

The Paralympic Champion touched in second place at the first turn but used his experience to bring it back and not let Cochrane get away from him. Kindred took over the lead in the final 15m and touched home in a time of 1:23.31 to book his spot as the fastest qualifier for the final.

"That was a good start and I am happy with it," Kindred said. "It is the fastest I have gone in twelve months which I am happy about.

"I know I have more in me for a faster time tonight but I didn't expect to be pushed all the way by the Australian."
The women's SB8 100m Breaststroke saw Claire Cashmore looking to progress safely through to this evening's final.

Cashmore didn't have the best start and turned in second place but stayed on the shoulder of the Russian Olesya Vladykina throughout the first 75m. Vladykina began pulling away from Cashmore and touched seconds ahead of the ParalympicsGB swimmer after Cashmore finished in a new British record time of 1:25.19.

"That was a good time for me," Cashmore said. "It was a personal best and a new British record. The girl next to me went six seconds faster than her entry time which was a shock but I need to focus on what I can control and make sure I swim faster in the final this evening."

Sam Hynd also lowered the British record in the men's SB8 100m Breaststroke, the young swimmer featured in the second heat and looked confident as he came out onto pool-deck.

Hynd swam a well paced race and touched home in a time of 1:17.00 to lower the British standard and qualify as the fifth fastest for the final.