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GB end week with more golds

August 19, 2013

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Britons Stephanie Millward and Amy Marren claimed more success to finish with four gold medals apiece from the IPC Swimming World Championships.

Millward beat Marren in the final of the S9 100m backstroke and then both were part of the winning medley squad.

Ellie Simmonds won her third gold in the S6 100m freestyle but a scoreboard error meant she had no recorded time.

“It is ridiculous that the IPC can let something like this can happen at a world championship final,” she said.

The four-time Paralympic champion had finished more than a body length ahead of her nearest rival Emanuela Romano of Italy but was left confused after the malfunction in Montreal.

“I knew I had swum hard and done a fast time so to not know what position I was in and what time it was and to have to wait around for quite a long time is quite disappointing,” she added.

“It is such an important race and they didn’t seem to have any timing back-up.”

Millward and Marren had earlier been involved in a tremendous tussle in the backstroke final with the 31-year-old beating her 15-year-old rival by 0.42 seconds to finally win a global title in her favourite event.

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“I’ve been waiting five years for that gold medal and now it has finally come I am so proud of myself,” said Millward, who won silver in the event at the London Paralympics and the 2010 World Championships and who earlier in the week won 100m freestyle gold.

“The backstroke is my race so I didn’t swim in the 100m butterfly the day before so I could be ready for it. I’m so glad to be part of this British team.”

Along with Claire Cashmore and Steph Slater, Millward and Marren helped GB set a new world record of four minutes 46.21 seconds, beating the previous mark by over six seconds.

“These championships have been amazing and I don’t want to go home now,” said Marren, who finished with four golds and two silver. “I’ve had fun and winning the relay has finished it on a high.”

Cashmore added: “We definitely had unfinished business in the event after missing gold in London by three one-hundredths of a second.

“Bringing Steph and Amy into the squad was great and we have so much more to give. This is just year one as we build up to Rio.”

Elsewhere, there was a silver for James Crisp in the S9 100m backstroke to continue his record of winning a medal at each of his five World Championships while GB won four medals across the two SM14 200m individual medley finals.

Dan Pepper, the 2009 European champion, lowered his British record to win silver in the final, just 0.13 seconds ahead of team-mate and training partner Ben Procter while in the women’s event, Jessica-Jane Applegate won her third medal of the week with silver while 14-year-old Chloe Davies won bronze.

It meant the team finished with 55 medals, including 18 golds to finish third on the medal table behind Ukraine and Russia and give national disability performance director Chris Furber a boost in his first event in charge.

“I’m really pleased with the performances – we’ve far exceeded the medal target [30-40] and I am delighted by that, but also by the team spirit,” he said.

“I didn’t expect us to surpass it by that far but what I have been really pleased about is that with key nations and athletes missing, you still have to take those opportunities and our guys have really stepped up and I’m sure they can stay there as we get closer to Rio.

“Our guys thrive under the pressure and love racing and help each other out and there is a lot more to come here. What we have is a belief within the team that when they go to a major championship they can win a lot of medals, which is great, as well as momentum to take forward into the Europeans next year and beyond.”

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