Swimming: Ellie Simmonds overcomes 'killer' fatigue to book place in final
Ellie Simmonds was still running on adrenalin as she overcame "killer"
fatigue to book a spot in tonight's final of the S6 50 metres freestyle
at what has become a second home for the 17-year-old.
The Walsall-born swimmer has already cemented her place as one of the faces of London 2012 and her appearance behind the blocks prompted wild cheers at the Aquatics Centre.
Two titles and two world records in the SM6 200m individual medley and S6 400m freestyle have already come her way although it could well prove troublesome for Simmonds to add the one-length dash to her roll call.
Fifth in Beijing, she clocked 36.45 seconds behind Holland's defending champion Mirjam de Koning-Peper, American Victoria Arlen - second in the 400m - and Tanja Groepper of Germany.
Some think victory is a formality when Simmonds dives into a pool but she was realistic about the challenge she faces to add to her medals.
The Walsall-born swimmer said: "It's going to be a tough race. The 50m free is my fourth best event but it helps develop my 100 free for later on in the week.
"I am really achy this morning from my 200IM: it was a bit of a killer.
"To do that time nearly on my PB and the way I am feeling I am really happy so hopefully I can go out there and do a PB.
"It's going to be really tough to medal."
She admitted she had had little sleep after her exertions last night.
She said: "Not much really but I think I am running on adrenalin at the moment from what I did last night.
"It's really good, it's starting to get quite tiring but I am looking forward to going back now and having a massage and having physio and rest up for tonight's final."
Despite being tired, the Swansea-based swimmer would not consider reducing her programme.
"I train for four events, at major competitions I do four events.
"I like doing all of them, it gets me all excited, I don't like being bored, I don't like sitting around watching.
"It's good to watch the team but I really just want to be competing so today doing the 50 free, it's a splash and dash really.
"I am more of a distance swimmer than a sprinter so to do that time this morning was really good."
While Simmonds commanded the spotlight, there were a number of other performances that bode well for further British medals tonight.
Heather Frederiksen and Hannah Russell were both quickest into their respective finals.
Defending champion Frederiksen produced an emphatic performance in the S8 100m backstroke to head the field by more than four seconds in 1min 17.63secs.
The City of Salford athlete was highly emotional after her silver in the S8 400m freestyle following 12 months of ill-health when she was diagnosed with neuralgic migraines.
When not hospitalised, Frederiksen was often bed-ridden and she had only six weeks' training but the Billinge-born woman is nothing if not gutsy.
She said: "The 100m backstroke is my main event - I was gold medallist in Beijing in it.
"So it was very nerve-wracking coming in but at the end of the day I got out there and gave it a go and I'm going in ranked number one tonight.
"So I'm going to get out there and get in the mix and have a right good go."
Russell has already secured two medals on her Paralympic debut and today she topped the S12 100m freestyle in 1:02.22.
The 16-year-old is composed and eloquent and she was not looking too far ahead this morning.
She said: "I am really, really pleased with that.
"The heats don't really mean anything to be honest.
"In the final that is when everyone really steps their game up and I need to step my game up.
"If I do, I'll hopefully get a chance for a medal."
Stephanie Millward was second into the S9 400m freestyle as she looks to claim her third medal of the Games.
The 30-year-old did not compete in this event in Beijing, where fourth in the 100m backstroke was the closest she came to the podium, but so far in London Millward has a silver and a bronze to her name.
Today, she was seven seconds clear of her nearest rival Ellie Cole in 4:46.00 although Natalie du Toit was 13 seconds ahead of the Briton as she looks for her third successive title.
Millward said: "It felt really good, it was pretty much the perfect morning swim.
"Natalie looked really good and the gold will be tough but I am feeling confident about getting a medal."
Matt Walker was second into the S7 50m freestyle in 28.59 behind American Lantz Lamback as he looks for his fourth consecutive medal in this event.
He said: "A bit disappointed I didn't go a bit faster but hey I am in a middle lane.
"I am going to give it everything I've got tonight, it's my last race here.
"I want a medal desperately - this is not like me, normally I've got a medal now."
Jonathan Fox and Josef Craig are also into the final.
Other British finalists are Oliver Hynd, Thomas Young and Sean Fraser (S8 100m backstroke), James Crisp (S8 400m freestyle) and James Clegg (S7 100m freestyle).
Susie Rodgers seeks her third medal in 24 hours in the S7 50m freestyle.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
The Calvin report: Stirring Champions League final shows how far English game must advance
Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 2 match report: Arjen Robben proves Mr Reliant for for Bayern
Boxing: Revenge for Carl Froch with unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler
England's versatile quartet to replace old rearguard
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.