Simmonds swims to second Paralympic gold

Ellie Simmonds won a second Paralympic gold medal with victory and another world record in the SM6 200 metre individual medley.

Simmonds swims to second Paralympic gold

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Ellie Simmonds wins gold at the London 2012 Paralympics (AFP)

Rebecca Adington admitted the weight of national expectation dragged her down during the Olympics, in contrast it seems to be driving Simmonds on to push back the boundaries of

her sport even further.

She followed up on her 400m freestyle win with a victory in the 200m medley, thanks a storming final freestyle leg that saw her move from second to a clear first.

Her winning time was 3:05.39, taking a further second and a half off the world best she set in the morning heats and she finished nearly nine seconds ahead of her nearest rivals, Germany's Verena Schott and British team-mate Natalie Jones.

As dominating performances go it was one of the most impressive witnessed in this pool in recent storied weeks.

“I knew I was going to get that medal,” said Simmonds.

“I can’t believe I’ve done a personal best in every race so far, I’m obviously in the form of my life at the biggest event of my life, which is incredible.

“I seem to have dealt with the pressure okay and it’s pushing me to show people what I’m made of.

“I’m avoiding Twitter and Facebook though and trying just to focus on the job. My parents and coach are keeping me on the ground and I’m just loving my swimming at the moment.

“I'm trying to keep myself in a bubble to the outside world. I'm just going to go out to every race and try my best but it's going to be really tough.

“I know people now think I’m going to win every race but it’s going to be tough. If that's what they want to think, they think that, but I've got my own targets and own aims and if I keep swimming personal bests I won’t have any complaints.”

Simmonds is now firmly established a sporting A-lister, which means others get star struck around her rather than vice versa - including the prime minister, who presented the 17-year old with her medal.

“I’ve meet him before at his house, in Number Ten. It’s great to meet him here at my place,” she grinned.

“The support I’m getting seems to get better and better and it means they world to me. It definitely motivates you and definitely gives you that buzz. To have that atmosphere, it's just unbelievable. I don't want it to end at all. I'm on a high all the time.”

Simmonds has now won 19 medals at major championship level in four years - and all have them are gold.

And she’s not finished this week either with the 50m freestyle - against key rivals Mirjam de Koning-Peper and Victoria Arlen - next up on her demanding four event schedule.

“Right now I need my privacy, I need my space, I need to focus on my races,” she added.

"I've got my 50 free next, so I'm just focusing on that now.

“I think I'm just running on adrenaline really. I'm really on a high, but I've just got to concentrate because I’ve got more medal chances to come.”

Sascha Kindred lost his Paralympic title and his world record but insisted there was certainly no sorrow in his silver.

Kindred was almost inconsolable after finishing fourth in the 100m breaststroke final, his other gold medal event from Beijing four years ago.

But with wife Nyree, herself a silver medallist last week, and 14-month old daughter Ella watching in the crowd he was delighted to finally have his podium moment.

Even if there was a small twinge of disappointment that China's Xu Qing, who obliterated Kindred's previous world mark by nearly three seconds, was standing on the top step.

"I've swum quicker than my old record on the biggest stage of my life, it's just he went quicker," said Kindred.

"It took a massive world record to beat me but there is no shame in silver and hats off to the Chinese lad, he deserved gold with that swim.

"The Chinese guy got bronze in Beijing and I got the gold on his home turf and he has turned it around now.

"It was hard to refocus after the breaststroke but I had a lot of supportive messages from family and friends and parents of children with disabilities like mine saying that whatever happens I am a role mode for their kids and to them as parents.

"And that was inspiration for me to know that even if I don’t perform well there are people that want to be like me and that lifted me for this race."

Elsewhere, Susannah Rogers won 100m freestyle bronze and then joined forces with Claire Cashmore, Louise Watkin, Stephanie Millward to win another bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay as Australia won gold in a world record.

"We're delighted with bronze, it's the fastest we've ever swum together as a team and it's an incredible feeling," said Cashmore, who won 100m breaststroke silver earlier in the Games.

"We were ranked fourth on paper coming in so to get in amongst the medals is an amazing achievement. Of course, you always want the gold but we've no complaints about bronze."

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