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Swimming - 28. April 2008.

WATKIN CLAIMS EUROPEAN RECORD

Kelly College swimmer Louise Watkin smashed the European record in the S9 category on the final day of the British International Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

The women's 100m Freestyle saw both Watkin and Francesca O'Connor take records on the final day of the competition.

Watkin swam an excellent race as she looked strong from the start and when she touched in a time of 1:05.15 she lowered the European record and claimed the silver medal with a total of 824 points.

"I was aiming for the European record going into that event," Watkins said. "I was really close to it at the British Championships so I wanted to come here and take it.

"I have tapered for this competition because we knew I could go and get that record. My coach has really helped me to stay focused and make sure that I knew what I had to do."

The gold medal went to Heather Frederiksen (City of Salford), who has impressed throughout the competition, in a time of 1:09.83 with a total of 946 points in the S8 category.

Bronze was taken by Leominster's Nyree Lewis in a time of 1:23.21 with a total of 806 points in the S6 category.

Wyre Forest swimmer O'Connor took her second British of the day, after first lowering the record in the heat and she went into the final hungry for more success.

O'Connor went out hard and touched in a time of 1:19.62 to claim the new British record in the S7 classification.

"Before this competition my personal best time was 1:22 and I just went 1:19 which is quite a significant drop," O'Connor said. "It felt good out there but I missed the qualification time. My coach and I didn't expect to achieve the time it seemed just outside of my reach but my times are dropping and my performances are going in the right direction.

"Overall I am really pleased with how the weekend has gone for me, I have achieved new PBs and British records so I really can't complain."
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