30 August 2021

Swimmers Russell and Dunn target further medal success after easing through qualification

Hannah Russell and Reece Dunn earned the right to fight for more individual glory as they qualified for freestyle and individual medley finals in the pool in Tokyo.

Russell, 25, swam 1:01.81 for second in her heat of the women’s 100m freestyle S12 and advanced overall fourth fastest.

The Surrey star won bronze in the event at Rio 2016 and the 2018 European title before taking a year-long mental health break and has already tasted gold at Tokyo 2020 – in the 100m backstroke.

Fellow S12 athlete Stephen Clegg carries top seeding into the men’s 100m freestyle final after a heat swim of 53.84 seconds and will approach tonight’s final with designs on breaking his British record.

Stephen Clegg reached the final of the men’s 100m freestyle S12

Elsewhere, Dunn flexed his freestyle muscles, coming home in 31.35s to win his 200m individual medley SM14 heat in 2:12.61 to set up a battle for gold with Ukraine’s Vasyl Krainyk.

It is the third of Dunn’s four individual events at the Games and he has already won three medals in total, excelling in a packed programme at just his second major championships.

There was disappointment for Jordan Catchpole in the medley however, as he missed out on automatic qualification by a single place, and less than a second, with third in his heat.

Reece Dunn will go for another gold later this evening

In the women’s 200m IM S14, Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate went one-two in their heat with 2:27.16 and 2:31.48 to fuel hope of another dual podium push, although Louise Fiddes was disqualified from her qualifying race.

Fastest from the preliminaries was Russian Paralympic Committee’s Valeriia Shabalina, who edged Firth to gold in the 200m freestyle, and the pair will do battle again tonight.

There was a SB2 Paralympic record for Ellie Challis in the 50m breaststroke as she clocked 1:10.37.

It wasn’t enough for the 17-year-old, the youngest member of ParalympicsGB, to qualify for the SB3 final but she continues to excel at her first Games.

Ellie Challis broke an SB2 Paralympic record on Tuesday morning

Toni Shaw looked imposing for second in the fastest women’s 100m freestyle S9 heat, touched out by Brazil’s Mariana Ribeiro to set up an exciting final

Shaw won bronze in the 100m freestyle S9 in Tokyo and emerged with the same colour medal from the race at the 2019 World Championships.

There would be no place in that final for 39-year-old Stephanie Millward however, as the ten-time Paralympic medallist finished fifth in her heat.

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