British Open World Para Swimming World Series with wins in Sheffield

Hannah Russell celebrating gold in Rio

The World Para Swimming World Series event in Sheffield had a perfect opening day for the hosts as British swimmers won three events at the Ponds Forge International Sports Center on Thursday.

Each event will be open to multiple classifications, making for a different format to what is typically seen in Para Swimming. With multiple classifications in one event the winner of each event, and qualifiers for a final will be decided by a points system based on times and level of impairment.

The women’s 100m freestyle was a British 1-2 with Hannah Russell (S12) claiming the win with 933 points, leading the whole field in a time of 59.77. Her team mate Stephanie Millward finished second with 916 points, a time of 1:06.62, hitting the wall in fifth, the bronze was won by American Jessica Long who finished at the wall in a time of 1:07.19 in seventh but her points total of 893 was enough for third.

In the men’s 100m freestyle two British athletes battled, with two records set in the process. Thomas Hamer sat an S14 European record in the heat but in the final Lewis White managed a British record in the S9 with 57.18 managing 850 points. Just one point behind him was Muzaffar Tursunkhujase of Uzbekistan with the S13 swimmer clocking 53.70. The bronze medal went to British S12 swimmer Stephen Clegg who swam 54.08 for 834 points.

Britain managed another 1-2 in the Men’s 100m breaststroke with all three medalists being in the intellectual disability classifications. Conner Morrison won with 947 points, one second back was team mate Scott Quinn with 916 points while in third was Hong Kong swimmer Wa Kit Choi who was less than a second further back finishing with 891 points.

In the women’s 100m breaststroke Norwegian Sarah Louise Rung made up for missing out on the win in the freestyle with a score of 912. The silver was claimed by British SB6 swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton with a 902 score. Bronze was claimed by Uzbek swimmer Fotimakhan Amilova, with 897 points, reflecting again Uzbekistan’s phenomenal rise in the sport.

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