12 September 2019
Tired but still not defeated – Tai continues to shine
Once again it was Alice Tai’s night as she collected her fifth and sixth gold medals in London.
The incredible 20-year-old stole the hearts of the nation once more as she surged to victory in the 50m freestyle S8 in a time of 29.55s to claim her fifth individual gold medal in as many days.
And in the final race of night, Tai, Toni Shaw, Brock Whiston and Stephanie Millward put together an unstoppable effort to take the 4x100m medley relay gold in a new world record time of 4:36.31.
It has been a long but prosperous World Para Swimming Allianz Championships for Tai who conceded she was exhausted coming in to the fifth day of competition – but nothing was going to get in the way of her and yet another individual gold medal.
“Behind the smile right now I’m dying,” she admitted.
“I had a really late night last night because I got drugs tested and I didn’t get back until about midnight, so I’m just really tired today - hopefully I can get a better night’s sleep tonight and bring it back.
“That gold is definitely special. I’m kind of disappointed with my time, but given the fact that I’ve raced four days in a row - have done eight races - I’m okay with it.
“I think I’ve got a lot to give next season and am really excited about that.”
Alice Tai, Brock Whiston, Toni Shaw, and Stephanie Millward (Image credit: Para Swimming)
Elsewhere Shaw captured a magnificent silver, her third individual medal of the week, in the S9 400m freestyle after an impressive swim from gold medallist Lakeisha Patterson.
Shaw finished 4.91s behind Australian Patterson, who swam an Oceanic record on her way to victory (4:38.29).
“I’m really pleased with the placement - the time was just over my PB,” said the Scot.
“I think I’m a bit hard on myself; I always want to go for a best time, but it was a really good race.
“It just pushes you on to go faster. It’s just something to try and beat and to motivate you. I knew she was going to do a really quick time.
“I couldn’t really see many of the other girls, so I knew I had to keep trying hard.
“It’s been a great week. I wasn’t expecting the results I’ve got, so I’m really happy.
And Ellie Robinson came agonisingly close to a podium finish in the S6 50m Freestyle with Maisie Summers-Newton just behind her in fifth.
“I’ve got a little bit of catching up to do, definitely, but I can see a lot of positives in this race and hopefully I can pull something together for Tokyo,” said Robinson.
“The thing about the 50s is that everything has to go right, and it’s going to be about going back to the race analysis and just seeing where I can improve, because it’s very marginal.”
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