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Paralympic sports - 24. May 2008.

LEWIS BREAKS WORLD RECORD ON WAY TO GOLD


24th May 2008

Paralympic Champion Nyree Lewis lowered the world record in the women's 200m Backstroke as she fought to win the gold medal at the German Open Championships.

Lewis (Leominster) looked good throughout the race and showed her strength through the final 100m as she turned well within the world record time.

Lewis touched home in a time of 3:04.27 to smash the world record and took the gold medal with 1137 in the S6 category.

"The world record was 3:19 which is quite high so it wasn't entirely unexpected for me to break that record," Lewis said. "But the 200m Backstroke isn't swum that often so I had more chance of breaking it. I was surprised to swim that fast though, I am tired through my heavy training schedule.

"That swim felt really smooth. I just tried to focus on holding on through the final 50m and I took six seconds off my personal best time which was a pleasant shock.

Silver was won by Germany's Annke Conradi in a time of 4:46.06 and a total 1013 points in the S3 category. The bronze medal was taken by Chantal Boomacker (The Netherlands) with a time of 3:09.69 and 937 points in the S7 category.

Later in the day, Lewis returned to the pool in the 200m Individual Medley with the hunger to get more success on the international circuit.

Taking to the blocks Lewis showed no signs of fatigue as she got off to an excellent start and continued to look dominate in her classification.

The world record holder finished in 3:19.87 to take 881 points and the silver medal.

"I am really happy with how I am performing at the moment and it shows me I am in the right place with the Paralympics just around the corner," Lewis said.

Gold was won by Valerie Grand Maison (Canada) in 2:32.51 with a total of 935 points in the SM13 classification. Chelsey Gotell won the bronze medal in 2:36.00 with a total of 874 points in the SM13 category.


In the women's 200m Butterfly Rachel Latham looked promising throughout the race and produced a strong swim to break the European record in the S8 category.

Latham kept her pace high as she turned within the European record time for the final 50m, she finished in a time of 3:02.37 to take the record and secure the silver medal with a total of 797 points.

"That is not a Paralympic event for me," Latham said. "However, that result sets me up for one of my events - the 100m Butterfly," Latham said. "I got silver in the 100m Butterfly yesterday as well. I know I have a lot more to do before Beijing, but I am ready to do the work and I very excited for the coming months."

Latham was beaten to the gold medal by Anastasia Diodorova (Russia) who touched home in 3:17.51 and took 914 points in the S6 category.

Bronze was taken by Russia's Anna Vengerovskaya who finished in 3:04.42 and won 771 points in the S8 category.
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