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Paralympic sports - 16. May 2009.

Watkin lowers European Record


Louise Watkin (Kelly College) lowered the S9 European record in the 400m Freestyle as she worked hard to meet the qualifying time for the IPC European Championships 2009 at the DSE International Disability Swimming Championships 2009.

The three-day meet incorporates the selection trials for the British Gas squad that will compete at the IPC European Championships in Reykjavik and the two overall fastest swimmers in each event and classification will be considered for selection to the British Gas squad.

Throughout the first day a total of 24 athletes met the qualifying standard for the IPC European Championships and will now be up for consideration for selection for the British Gas disability squad.

The 400m Freestyle final showed double Paralympic champion Eleanor Simmonds (Swansea Performance, S6) true potential as she took the gold medal with an impressive swim. She touched home in a time of 5:35.21 and took a total of 1056 points.

“I was four seconds off my world record,” Simmonds said. “It was hard out there but it felt better than the heat. The main thing was to achieve the qualifying time and I did that.”

The silver went to Heather Frederiksen (City of Salford, S8), who swam close to her own World record, and she finished in 4:47.25 and took 1002 points. Bronze was won by Natalie Jones in 6:01.54 and a total of 842 points.

However, it was Watkin that stole the show with her impressive swim. She swam an excellent race and to carve out a new European record time of 4:46.61.

“It was a really good swim,” Watkin said. “I am still getting back into training after the altitude training camp last week and my training has been a bit erratic since I returned to the UK so I am really happy to have got that under my belt.”

The 100m Breaststroke saw Germany’s Kristen Bruhn smash the S5 world record as she stormed to the gold medal in a time of1:36.19 and a total of 1003 points.

S6 swimmer Charlotte Henshaw (Stirling Swim) took the silver medal after a good swim and she touched home in a time of 1:44.87 and she claimed 869 points. The bronze medal went to City of Leeds swimmer Claire Cashmore in new British record time of 1:24.73 to win her 860 points.

“That felt so good,” Cashmore said. “I was determined to do that. I have changed my club and coach within the last year and so I didn’t know where I was with my training and my swimming. But getting in there and achieving that result shows that it is all working which I am really happy with.”


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