Three World Records Fall at British Para-Swimming International Meet

2 May 2015; Bethany Firth, Ards, competes in the final of the women's 100m final event during the 2015 Irish Open Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Photo Courtesy: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The British Para-Swimming International Meet 2017 took place at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, Great Britain from April 27-30. The meet ran a mixed-class format with a Disability point system to determine the winner of each event.

The meet is stop three of the five-part World Para Swimming World Series; the meet will be in Indianapolis, USA from June 9-11 and Berlin, Germany from July 6-9.

On night three of competition, Alice Tai and Bethany Firth, both British para-swimmers, each set a World Record. Tai, who competed in Sheffield as an S9 after competing as an S10 in last Summer’s Rio Paralympic Games, set a new record in the 100 meter backstroke with a time of 1:07.66. This mark also set a new European and British record. The previous World mark was held by Australia’s Ellie Cole from her efforts at the Rio Paralympic Games. The old record stood at 1:09.18; the S10 World Record in this event is a 1:05.90 set by Canada’s Summer Ashley Mortimor in 2012.

Firth swam a best 1:05.23 in the prelims of the S14 100 fly and then broke the World, European and British records in this event with a 1:04.62 in the finals. She finished fifth in the event overall. Firth also holds World Records in the S14 200 free (2:03.30), 200 IM (2:19.55) and 100 back (1:04.05).

On the final day of competition, Arnost Petracek, a Paralympic Champion from the Czech Republic, broke the S4 50 back record with a 42.22, earning him the gold medal in this event as well. The previous mark stood since the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where Mexico’s Juan Reyes Gonzalez swam a 42.71.


Photo Courtesy: Luc Percival

Paralympic swim stars Oliver Hynd (S8) and Rebecca Myers (S13) also competed in Sheffield. Meyers won the 200 IM (2:26.36), 100 fly (1:04.70) and 400 free (4:31.17). She also placed sixth in the 100 free (1:01.80) and eighth in the 50 free (29.42).

Also a multiple-event winner, Hannah Russell (S12) claimed gold in both the 50 (27.54) and 100 (59.77) freestyle. After placing fourth and sixth in these respective events in London, Russell came back to win gold in the S12 50 free in Rio (27.53) and bronze in the 100 free (1:00.07). Right on her times from the Games, Russell will be one to watch over the next three years.

Hynd took second in the 200 IM (2:25.71) behind Uzbekistan’s Dmitriy Horlin and fourth in the 100 back (1:07.40). Hynd is the reigning S8 400 meter free and 200 meter IM Paralympic Champion.