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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 16:46 UK

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds sets new world record

BT Paralympic World Cup
Venue: Manchester Date: 25-31 May Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two and BBC Sport website (UK only) on Monday from 1400 BST; Athletics highlights on the BBC Sport website on Wednesday, plus text reports


Ellie Simmonds sets new record at Manchester World Cup

Simmonds sets world record in Manchester

Ellie Simmonds, Sam Hynd, Nyree Lewis and Charlotte Henshaw all set world records as GB swimmers shone on the last day of the Paralympic World Cup.

Double Beijing gold medallist Simmonds, 15, first bettered her own individual medley standard in Manchester.

Fellow teenager Hynd then improved his own mark in the 400m freestyle while Lewis also raised her own world record in the 100m backstroke.

Henshaw beat compatriot Liz Johnson's mark in the 100m breaststroke.

The record-breaking performances helped GB win 16 medals in the pool, including 10 golds, with the team in heavy training following a recent training camp in Spain and with the World Championships in Eindhoven to come in August.

Simmonds set a new SM6 category time of three minutes 11.06 seconds, bettering the 3:11.82 she managed in winning gold at last year's European Championships in Reyjkavik.

The teenager, who suffers from achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, was in third at the halfway point behind China's Fuying Jiang and Britain's Natalie Jones.

But she started to make her move on the third breaststroke leg before powering away on the freestyle leg for victory with Jones second and Jiang third.

"Setting the record was a big surprise because we are in heavy training," said Simmonds afterwards.

"I didn't think I would set a world record - I just wanted to go out and see what I can do."

Hynd, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, clocked a new time in the S8 category of 4:26.08, beating the mark of 4:26.25 he set in winning gold in Beijing in 2008.

"It was extremely tight at the end," he told BBC Sport. "I could feel the fatigue but I just wanted to hang on.

"I knew I was on for a good time and when I heard the crowds cheering I knew I had done it.

"I've worked a lot on the back end of my race and it shows how the training has helped. I'm ecstatic but I still can't get over it."

Lewis, who has a form of cerebral palsy, is one of the most experienced swimmers on the team and went out strongly in her backstroke race.

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She continued in the same way, finishing in 1:26.87 - three one-hundreds inside her previous best.

"Considering the time of year we are doing really well," she said afterwards. "The record was a surprise because I didn't feel good during the race but I'm so pleased and it sets things up nicely for the Worlds."

Henshaw, who won the European title last year, continued her improvement with victory over Johnson in 1:39.56 - just two one-hundreds better than Johnson's world record set earlier this year.

"I was really surprised with what I swam today," said Henshaw, who is a double amputee below the knee since birth. "That was very unexpected.

"I've been slowly chipping away at Liz's record and I finally took it today. I have a friendly rivalry with her. It's always good to have someone to race against and to push you. It's nice to have someone there with you at the block and then be a rival once you're in the water."

There were also golds for Jonathan Fox (S7 100m backstroke), Sascha Kindred (SM6 200m individual medley), Stephanie Millward (S9 100m butterfly), Louise Watkin (S9 50m freestyle), Thomas Young (S8 100m backstroke) and Matt Walker, who beat great rival and 11-time Paralympic champion Dave Roberts in the S7 50m freestyle.

Despite the performances by the swimmers, it was not enough to give Great Britain victory in the overall team competition, which was run across all of the four sports over the week with the Rest of the World beating Europe into second and GB third.



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