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Tokyo Paralympics: Swimmer Reece Dunn sets world record to win third gold of Games

2 months ago | 90


Reece Dunn has won four medals at the Tokyo Paralympics
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REECE Dunn set a new world record to win his third gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, as the medals continued to flow for Great Britain on day seven.

Dunn won the men's SM14 200m individual medley in a new world best of two minutes 8.02 seconds.

It is his third medal of the Tokyo Games - his first Paralympics - having already won 200m freestyle and 4x100m relay golds and 100m butterfly silver.

His win followed cycling golds for Sarah Storey and Ben Watson.

Storey became Great Britain's joint most successful Paralympian of all time after winning her 16th gold medal in the women's C5 time trial.

Watson, making his Paralympic debut, then won the men's C3 time trial by more than 56 seconds.

There were further cycling medals for Crystal Lane-Wright and tandem pair Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall, both winning silver, while George Peasgood won men's C4 time trial bronze to add to the triathlon silver he won earlier in the Games.

In the pool, Bethany Firth and Louise Fiddes won silver and bronze respectively in the women's SM14 individual medley, while there were bronze medals for Stephen Clegg and Hannah Russell in the S12 100m freestyle races.

Dunn defies pain to win gold

Dunn, 25, only broke onto the British swimming scene in 2019 but has taken his maiden Paralympics by storm with four medals, with the backstroke still to come.

He was second at the final turn but powered through on the freestyle leg to touch first, shaving 0.14 seconds off the world record, previously set by Japan's Dai Tokairin in 2019.

Gabriel Bandeira of Brazil took silver with bronze going to Ukraine's Vasyl Krainyk.

"I had no idea where I was, I had to max every single leg, my breaststroke felt as good as it has felt in a long time but I was in agony that last 50 metres," Dunn told Channel 4.

"Breaststroke is difficult for me with the shoulder I've got at moment, it's under a lot of fatigue, every length my arm felt like it was going to crumble."

In the women's SM14 individual medley, Firth and Fiddes added another two medals to GB's impressive haul from the pool as Valeriia Shabalina of the Russian Paralympic Committee won gold.

British team-mate Jessica-Jane Applegate just missed out on a third medal of the Games, finishing fourth.

Earlier, Clegg won his second bronze medal in Tokyo in a tight finish in the 100m freestyle, while in the women's race, three-time Paralympic champion Russell also edged third place.

From desk job to top of podium

Five years ago, during the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Watson was working a desk job as a chartered surveyor. He attended a talent ID day, and fast forward to 2021 and he's a Paralympic champion.

In his first event of the Games - he will go in the road race on Thursday - he clocked 35:00.82, 56.59 seconds quicker than silver medallist Steffen Warias, whose German compatriot Matthias Schindler took bronze.

Fin Graham narrowly missed out on a second medal of the Games, finishing fourth as three-time Tokyo medallist Jaco van Gass placed sixth.

"I don't really believe it, I've actually never won a time trial at a World Cup or World Championship, I've always been the bridesmaid so it's good on the big one to win it," Watson told Channel 4.

"Paralympic champion, I haven't got any words for it, it's amazing. It's what we've worked for since we started this journey.

"In 2016 I was 93kg working a desk job, 2021 I'm here, Paralympic champion."

He added: "At the start of 2016 I was drinking and partying, now I am here. If you have the desire and want it, go get it."

Peasgood won his second medal of the Games in a different sport after his triathlon silver, with his time trial bronze making history.

It was the 1,000th medal to be won by ParalympicsGB or Team GB since National Lottery funding was introduced in 1997.

Fachie and pilot Hall won silver in the women's B time trial, days after they won pursuit gold in the velodrome, while Lane-Wright won silver behind Storey in the C5 time trial.

Stephen Bate and pilot Adam Duggleby could not retain their men's B time trial title from Rio 2016 after crashing out of the race.

Sophie Unwin and pilot Jenny Holl were fifth in the women's B time trial.

Brit watch

Elsewhere, top seeds and Rio silver medallists Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are through to the men's doubles final in the wheelchair tennis with a 6-2 6-1 win over Japan's Shingo Kunieda and Takashi Sanada.

Jordanne Whiley reached the semi-finals of the women's singles for the first time, beating Dana Mathewson of the United States 6-3 3-6 7-5 in the quarter-finals.

In boccia, defending BC1 champion David Smith is through to the semi-finals, as is Scott McCowan in the BC3 event.

Table tennis players Megan Shackleton and Sue Bailey guaranteed themselves a medal by reaching the semi-finals of the women's class 4-5 team event.

Daniel Sidbury and six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir finished sixth and 10th respectively in the T54 1500m, with Sidbury beating the previous world record yet still missing out on the medals as Switzerland's Marcel Hug set a new world best time of 2:49.55.

There are medal chances for Olivia Breen (T38 long jump) and Columba Blango (T20 400m) when the second athletics session gets under way from 11:00.

GB face China in the quarter-finals of the women's wheelchair basketball at 10:15.

BBC Sport

- Aug. 31, 2021 @ 10:27 GMT |

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