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Swimming - 13. August 2013.

Simmonds retains world title on opening day in Montreal



Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds landed her first gold of the 2013 IPC
World Championships with an emphatic victory in the S6 400m Freestyle
final in Montreal.

The 18-year old - who is defending four World titles in Canada - had
qualified 21 seconds clear of the field and underlined her superiority
with a 5:24.02 effort to take gold.

Mexico's silver medallist Vianney Trejo Delgadillo was 20 seconds back
on 5:44.47 while Brazil's Susana Ribeiro took bronze on 5:47.78.

Having only swum faster for her world record to win Paralympic gold last
year, Simmonds admitted she couldn't have hoped for much more from her
first event of the meet.

"I'm really pleased with that race and it was a really good time," said
Simmonds.

"The Italian girl came with me on the first 100 which was interesting
but I managed to get out on my own and swim my race.

"That was a bit harder in a way because I'm a racer and love to have
people with me to race.

"It was a different pressure today as well. I was still really nervous
but I have felt a lot less pressure than London because that was a home
Paralympics."

It was a busy first day for the British Gas GBR Disability Swimming Team
as a total of ten medals were won, with four of them gold.

Jessica-Jane Applegate added the World title toher Paralympic crown in the S7 400m Freestyle and S14 200m Freestyle
respectively.

Applegate showed her impressive back end speed to storm to a world
record and her first World Championship gold medal in a time of 2:09.88.


The Paralympic champion turned fourth at the 100m mark but kept her
patience to swim through the field and take gold ahead of Ireland's
Bethany Firth (2:11.91) and Australia's Taylor Corry (2:13.45) with GB
teammate Chloe Davies fifth in 2:16.57.

"That was definitely a tough race," said Applegate. "I really had to dig
deep in that last length.

"I could see someone out in an outside lane who was going out fast but I
had to try and not get too far behind.

"I was dying a bit on those last 50 but obviously had enough to hold
on."

Steph Millward was the fourth Brit to land gold on the opening night
with victory in the S9 100m Freestyle.

Having won five silvers on her Worlds debut in 2010 and four silvers at
London 2012 last year, Millward finally got her hands on gold as she
clocked her best time since 2010 to take the touch in 1:04.00.

Millward's teammate Amy Marren joined her on the podium, claiming her
first international medal with silver in 1:04.41 ahead of Spain's Sarai
Gascon in 1:04.54 while GB's Claire Cashmore was fifth in 1:06.39.

"That was amazing. Absolutely amazing," said Millward.

"I would never have dreamed myself to be a freestyle swimmer but now I'm
world champion on freestyle.

"It's crazy. It's probably my third stroke behind backstroke and
butterfly and now I'm world champion.

"I wanted to come back to freestyle after not competing it at the
Paralympics and I've been doing more training with my new squad Aquae
Sulis."

European record holder Susie Rodgers won silver in the women's S7 400m
Free, touching in a season's best 5:21.15 behind USA's Courtney Jordan
(5:19.60) to step up from her bronze at London 2012.

Hannah Russell also improved on her Paralympic position in the S12 100m
Freestyle, taking silver medal in 1:01.08, while Ollie Hynd claimed
bronze in the men's S8 100m Backstroke in a British record 1:05.10.

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