16 September 2016
Firth leads ParalympicsGB gold rush in pool
Bethany Firth starred with three golds and a silver as ParalympicsGB won 16 gold medals in the pool at Rio 2016.
The Northern Irish S14 star defended her 100m backstroke title and broke the event’s world record twice inside two days, lowering it to 1:04.53 and then 1:04.05.
Firth also led British one-twos in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley, with team-mate Jessica-Jane Applegate winning silver on both occasions.
“This feel amazing, I’m so happy. I have my whole family, my mum and dad, grandparents, brothers, and sisters, everyone is here, apart from my dog!” said Firth.
“I have trained so hard for this. I had a setback with my wrist injury but I am glad I could retain my title.”
Stephanie Millward won a fairytale first individual Paralympic gold at her third Games in her trademark S8 100m backstroke.
It was her seventh Paralympic medal of any colour but a special triumph for the 34-year-old who broke the Paralympic record in the event with a 1:13.02 clocking.
She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve got two golds, a silver and two bronzes and I’ve loved these Games, they have been fantastic.”
Matt Wylie won gold in the S9 50m freestyle on the same night and Ellie Simmonds won bronze in the 400m freestyle in a superb session for ParalympicsGB.
S6 legend Simmonds - like Millward swimming at her third Games - retained her 200m individual title in world record time having lowered her personal best in the heat.
Ollie Hynd was another to smash a world record, beating his own mark by nearly two seconds to win the S8 400m freestyle.
And there was relay gold for the women in the 4x100m medley with Millward, Claire Cashmore, Alice Tai and Stephanie Slater combining for victory.
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