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Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 10:32 UK

Frederiksen targets Euro success


Report - Paralympic swimming day six

Venue: Reyjkavik, Iceland Dates: 18-24 October
Coverage: Highlights on the red button and BBC Sport website; live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra

By Elizabeth Hudson

Heather Frederiksen
Frederiksen enjoyed a successful Paralympic debut in Beijing

Heather Frederiksen believes more world records are within her grasp at this week's European Paralympic Swimming Championships in Iceland.

The Beijing gold medallist from Wigan has set three world and two European records already this year.

"I want to go out there and swim as close as I can to my personal bests, if not faster," she told BBC Sport.

"I've set myself some tough standards in my events so we'll have to see if I can match them."

The 23-year-old was a talented able-bodied swimmer before an accident five years ago left her with reduced mobility down the right side of her body and she was told she would never swim again.

She left the sport but then decided she had some unfinished business to attend to and returned in 2006, working hard to be one of the stars of the British team in Beijing, winning a gold, two silvers and a bronze.

But with two major competitions for GB swimmers this year - the Iceland meet begins on Sunday and and is followed by the World Short-Course Championships in Brazil at the end of next month - Frederiksen has wasted no time in getting back to business.

"I've set three world records this year - I've got two more records than I had in Beijing so there is more pressure on me going into the championships but it can only make me stronger," she admitted.

We need to race as much as we can before London 2012

Heather Frederiksen

"I thrive quite well on pressure although I still feel the nerves because people still expect to do a lot.

"I think everyone has moved on this year and everyone is chasing us after Beijing and we have to move with it

"If I hadn't moved on this year I would have felt like I was a year behind everyone else so for me it has been a case of striving to improve so I can step up to the mark when I need to."

Frederiksen will be competing in six events in Iceland - the 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle and 100m freestyle (where she holds world records) as well as the 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley, where she is the European record holder, as well as the 50m freestyle.

She will then have a couple of weeks before travelling to Brazil for the short course event and a battle with rival American Jessica Long.

"I'm still trying to improve in all my events but I've been working hard on my breaststroke for the medley because it's the weakest of the four legs," she said.

"Every time you break a record it feels just as special but I worked really hard for the 400m freestyle record and the 100m freestyle. I worked hard for the backstroke as well but the freestyle records are the ones I've had to spend most time on.

"At the moment I am 0.07 seconds away from the world and European 50m freestyle record so that is something I am looking at.

"I've improved a lot on the 200m medley and am about four seconds away from the world record and I regained the 100m butterfly European record earlier this year, which is good for something that isn't really my main event."

Heather Frederiksen
Frederiksen was told after her accident that she would never swim again

But having made her Paralympic debut in Beijing, Frederiksen says she is keen to be involved in 2012.

"As well as this year's two events, the world long course is next year so it is all good competition but we need to race as much as we can before London. It can only be positive for us as we look towards 2012."

Also included in the GB team for Iceland are seven swimmers with intellectual disabilities for the first International Paralympic Committee event at which athletes with intellectual disabilities have been permitted to compete for a number of years.

Athletes with intellectual disabilities were banned from competing at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics after it was found that the most of the members of the Spanish basketball team at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics were not disabled.

However, it is hoped that the ban will be overturned at a meeting at November's IPC general assembly and athletes can be re-included in London 2012.

GB team

Men: James Anderson, Anthony Stephens, Sascha Kindred, Matthew Whorwood, Matthew Walker, David Roberts, Jonathan Fox, Richard Howard, Sam Hynd, Sean Fraser, Thomas Young, David Hill, Graham Edmunds, Robert Welbourn, Nicholas Boylan, Ben Proctor, Dan Pepper, Craig Rodgie

Women: Danielle Watts, Nyree Lewis, Eleanor Simmonds, Natalie Jones, Elizabeth Johnson, Francesca O'Connor, Charlotte Henshaw, Emma Hollis, Heather Frederiksen, Claire Cashmore, Stephanie Millward, Louise Watkin, Lauren Steadman, Elizabeth Simpkin, Kate Grey, Emma Cattle, Rhiannon Henry, Lauren Hobbins, Stephanie Bird, Amberley Hoar, Natalie Massey

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see also
British duo miss European Champs
08 Oct 09 |  Disability Sport
GB trio set new European records
01 Aug 09 |  Disability Sport
Frederiksen sets new world record
30 Jul 09 |  Disability Sport
GB swimmers set European records
18 May 09 |  Disability Sport
Simmonds speeds to world record
18 Mar 09 |  Disability Sport
Paralympic duo claim world bests
03 Nov 08 |  Disability Sport
Frederiksen leads swimming charge
10 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport

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