Swimmers in class S14 are now in full preparation for the World Para-Swimming Championships, having been selected as part of the British Team due to compete in June.
Among the 30 strong British Team announced yesterday are Jessica Jane-Applegate, Louise Fiddes, Scott Quin, Bethany Firth, Poppy Maskill, Jordan Catchpole, Reece Dunn, Tom Hamer, Louis Lawlor, and Cameron Vearncombe.
Fond memories will accompany Jessica-Jane Applegate’s return to the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex at the World Championships. She left the venue with a quartet of golds to host last year’s European Championships. Alongside Jordan Catchpole – who anchored home the foursome of himself, Applegate, Firth, and Dunn for Mixed S14 4x100m Freestyle triumph in Tokyo – Applegate completes the list of seven Tokyo Paralympic Champions that bolster the team.
The S14 Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay made its inaugural appearance in London 2019. The mixed format is now being adopted across all relay classification categories following a review of the event programme for this Paralympic cycle.
British Swimming Associate Performance Director Tim Jones said: “With a shortened cycle into the next Paralympic Games, these World Championships in June are one of the foundation stones as we build towards our Paris 2024 objectives. The team selected bonds together a terrific blend of experienced names and exciting prospects – this combination will not just make us competitive on the medal front, but presents a key development opportunity for our next generation to refine their craft in the international arena.”
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive UK Sports Association said, “I am delighted to see 10 swimmers with intellectual impairment make selection for this hugely important Championships. They bring solid performances to the table and will no doubt contribute to GB’s overall success. Congratulations British Swimming, on a strong team, and good luck to them all in their preparations for Madeira.”
Performances from the 2022 Para Swimming World Series, February 17 to 20, hosted at Aberdeen Sports Village’s Aquatic Centre, were an important consideration, where S14 swimmers put in some strong performances. The event ran parallel with the British Para-Swimming Meet 2022 to ensure equal facilities. It solidified the selection for ten swimmers (S14) to form part of the impressive lineup for the World Para Swimming Championships.
The competition in Aberdeen was live-streamed for a virtual audience across Youtube and Facebook, with British Para-Swimming live-updating on their various social media platforms. Bethany Firth, Jordan Catchpole, and Scott Quin producing standout performances.
The 100m men’s freestyle drew much attention in the first session of the competition. Jordan Catchpole, Stephen Clegg, and Louis Lawlor paddled their hearts out in a stroke-for-stroke battle to the finish, with Catchpole reigning victorious over his compatriots.
Jordan Catchpole told British Swimming in Aberdeen, “It’s amazing being back competing with these guys. I’ve missed the feeling. I’ve missed the adrenaline. It’s just not the same after Tokyo, you go through that little blue stage where you’re feeling a bit down, but to see all the guys again, it’s just great. I’m really happy. This is my first proper meet of the year, so it’s nice to see where I’m at. I’m very happy with where I am at right now.”
Catchpole won 872 points alongside a gold medal, just on the heels of Stephen Clegg. The victory has Catchpole excited for competitions to come.
Shortly after, Bethany Firth took home silver with 825 points in the women’s 200m individual medley. She was short of gold by less than 100 points.
Great Britain took home titles in six of the eight events on day 2, with Scott Quin qualifying for the World Championships in all men’s MC 100m breaststroke, claiming gold in his event with 900 points.
“I’m really happy with that swim tonight,” said Scott Quin. “This morning was a 66.7, so I was quite happy with that, and then I came in tonight and thought, ‘I’ve hit that qualifying time, so I’ll just enjoy myself and do something different”.
Quin went on to describe his ‘longing for a live audience’ and ‘how wonderful it is to compete in person. “It’s just nice to have that competitive edge to everything again. It’s a shame we don’t have spectators again and more athletes from around the world coming over – but for me, I’m 31, and I just enjoy racing. You have to embrace the situation we’re in. I think I’m becoming a wiser man, I’m learning to enjoy myself as well and not get uptight about everything.”
With Aberdeen setting the tone for the British Swimmers, the GB Team is focused now on success at the World Championships. The World Para-Swimming Championships will be held in Madeira, Portugal, from June 12th to the 18th.
The British Para-Swimming team for the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, 12th-18th June:
- Jessica-Jane Applegate, City of Norwich
- Ellie Challis, NPC Manchester
- Louise Fiddes, Hatfield SC
- Scott Quin, Edinburgh University
- Rebecca Redfern, Worcester SC
- Hannah Russell, NPC Manchester
- Toni Shaw, University of Stirling
- Maisie Summers-Newton, Northampton SC
The athletes above gained pre-selection based on performance at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and post-Games domestic meet criteria.
- Stephen Clegg, Edinburgh University
- Sam Downie, East Lothian
- Bethany Firth, Ards SC
- Eliza Humphrey, Northampton SC
- Scarlett Humphrey, Northampton SC
- Poppy Maskill, Alsager SC
- Brock Whiston, Barking and Dagenham AC
The athletes above gained selection after they achieved the consideration time as per the selection policy (individual).
- Oliver Carter, University of Stirling
- Jordan Catchpole, Team Waveney
- Reece Dunn, Plymouth Leander
- Suzanna Hext, Swindon ASC
- James Hollis, Loughbrough University
- Tully Kearney, NPC Manchester
- Lyndon Longhorne, Derwentside SC
- William Perry, Northampton SC
- Matthew Redfern, Worcester SC
- Alice Tai, Ealing SC
The athletes above gained selection after they achieved the consideration time as per the selection policy (relay).
- Tom Hamer, NPC Manchester
- Grace Harvey, NPC Manchester
- Louis Lawlor, City of Glasgow ST
- Zara Mullooly, Leeds University
- Cameron Vearncombe, Plymouth Leander
For more information on the World Championships in Madeira contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class S14/SB14 is for athletes with intellectual impairment. Eligibility and classification for this group is managed by the UK Sports Association, with British Swimming working alongside UKSA to enable athletes to achieve classification.
Story and images courtesy of British Swimming