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.

PA

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea