Swimming: Unheralded Wang spoils GB hopes and Hynd podium party


The Aquatics Centre

It was the photographers who finally managed what the Hynd brothers could not and ushered Wang Yinan out of the picture. The shot they wanted was of the two Britons together on the podium and it was Wang who had prevented the picture-perfect moment for the Hynd family and the home supporters, outracing Oliver, the younger brother, over the last length of the 400 metres freestyle.

Wang shuffled off centre stage but it was with the gold medal around his neck. Oliver, in his first Paralympic Games, took silver and Sam bronze. They had qualified first and second fastest for the final, with a third Briton Thomas Young, right behind them to raise hopes of a Hynd one-two – to outdo even the Brownlees – and indeed a British sweep of the podium.

But Wang, whom both brothers confessed to never having heard of ahead of the morning's heats, put an emphatic end to that prospect. Seventeen-year-old Oliver, three years younger than Sam, led as the field turned into the final 50m only for the 22-year-old Chinese to produce dramatic acceleration and complete the final length 0.9sec quicker than the Briton. Young was fourth.

"He had a 10-second personal best [improvement] from this morning," said Sam Hynd, who had won the event in Beijing four years ago. "That's a phenomenal time to drop in one day. I didn't expect him to go as fast as he did, but that's racing."

The Hynd silver was the first of five for Britain in the pool last night. Heather Frederiksen was second in the S8 400m freestyle, Stephanie Millward was runner-up in the S9 100m backstroke as was James Crisp in the S9 100m backstroke. It was Crisp's 12th Paralympic medal, a total that would have been greater had he not missed Beijing with a back injury.

Aaron Moores completed the host nation's silver lining in the S14 100m backstroke. Seven of Britain's nine swimming medals have been now been silver, which brings with it a degree of frustration.

Frederiksen, who runs a driving- instruction business, was relieved just to be on the podium after a tough start to the year. In March she spent three weeks in hospital being treated for neuralgic migraines. The illness cost her part of her sight in her right eye.

A former open-water swimmer, Frederiksen won the British championship in 2004 and was targeting the Beijing Olympics, where the event was to make its debut, when she had an accident that left her with limited use of her right arm and leg. She did win gold in Beijing but in the Paralympics and last night she collected her fifth medal.

"Just to be here is absolutely phenomenal," she said. "All I wanted was a medal. Coming into this I've only done six weeks' worth of training."

The Briton was beaten by Jessica Long, the American producing a world record swim to claim the second of what she hopes will be a total of nine gold medals in London. She won seven aged 16 in Beijing and looks even better four years on. Long was born in Irkutsk in Siberia where she spent the first 13 months of her life in a state orphanage before being adopted, along with a little boy from the same orphanage, and renamed by an American couple. Five months after she arrived in Baltimore she had both her legs amputated, having been born without any fibulas, ankles or heels.

Bethany Firth took Ireland's first medal in the London pool in grand fashion. The 16-year-old from Downpatrick, born on Valentine's Day, won the S14 100m backstroke. Britain's Jessica-Jane Applegate missed the bronze in the same event by just 0.08sec.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine