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Swimming - 23. April 2008.

SWIMMERS FIGHT FOR PARALYMPIC PLACES

Britain's top disability swimmers will be battling it out at this weekend's British International Disability Swimming Championships to make their dreams of competing at the Beijing Games a reality.

The three-day competition, which is run in conjunction with British Swimming, Disability Sport Events and Nationwide Building Society, is the final opportunity for Britain's swimmers to secure nomination for the Paralympic Games in Beijing.

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The event will see experienced athletes like David Roberts, Sascha Kindred and Natalie Jones pushed all the way by the young talent coming through, which includes Sam Hynd and Eleanor Simmonds, as they try to gain the valuable Paralympic spots.

This is the second chance to qualify for the Games for Britain's swimmers who also competed at the British Championships earlier this month, where the talent of the squad shone through as they smashed 12 world records, 31 European records and 59 British records.

National Performance Director Tim Reddish was encouraged by the performances of the athletes at the British Championships and is looking for the athletes to show their consistency as they look to meet the vital qualifying criteria.

"We had a number of athletes that performed exceptionally well at the British Championships," Reddish said. "The athletes gained a number of personal best times and the good news for us is that the British records are tumbling, which means our own standards are getting higher.

"I am expecting the competition this weekend to be tough as athletes will be looking to either reinforce their performances from earlier this month or to improve on their times.

"With the international competitors I will expect that our contingent will be looking to prove how far they have come to them."

To determine which swimmers will be nominated to the British Paralympic Association, results from the British Championships and International Disability Swimming Championships will be combined and ranked for each event and classification.

The top ranked swimmer in each of these events and classifications must have swum below the set qualification times to be nominated.

Swimmers who are ranked in second and third place in their event will be eligible for selection, as long as they swim below the qualification time and there is sufficient space on Team GB.

Competition begins on Friday 25th April with the men's 200m Individual Medley at 9.00am.
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