Rio 2016: Swimmers Sascha Kindred and Ellie Simmonds rewrite history books during golden 30 minutes

13 September 2016

Former University of Bath swimmer Sascha Kindred won his seventh title in his last-ever Paralympic race on Monday as he smashed the SM6 200m individual medley world record at Rio 2016.

Ellie Simmonds, who has a honorary degree at the University, matched his achievement in the equivalent women’s final during a stunning 38-minute spell that saw ParalympicsGB win three gold medals in the pool.

Kindred won the first two of his Paralympic titles back at the Sydney 2000 Games while training at the University of Bath. He has now won 13 medals in total during a glorious Paralympic career that started at Atlanta 1996.

His latest success came after a major scare in the morning session when, after winning his heat, he was disqualified for an illegal kick.

A successful appeal meant Kindred was able to line up in the final and he made the very most of his reprieve, setting a new world record time of 2:38.47 as he won his fourth SM6 200m IM Paralympic title.

“To be Paralympic champion and a world record holder at 38 is very special,” said Kindred. “I didn’t feel I deserved a disqualification and it did give me an extra motivation to finish on a high.

“That’s my last Paralympic race. I’m not Steve Redgrave but I’m 99 per cent sure you won’t see me in Tokyo.

“Thirteen medals and that’s my lucky number. Seven golds and that’s a special number to me too. I’m a big Manchester United fan and seven is a pretty important number to us.”

Ellie Simmonds won SM6 200m individual medley gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. PICTURE: onEdition
Ellie Simmonds won SM6 200m individual medley gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. PICTURES: onEdition

Simmonds, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Bath in 2013, claimed the fifth Paralympic gold of her career as she became the first SM6 swimmer to dip below three minutes in the 200m medley

“To swim a personal best, get a world record and another gold medal – I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said Simmonds, who touched the wall in 2:59.81.

“The Paralympics brings out the best in me. I love the pressure, it drives me forward and I just want to go out there and smash it.

“Last year I set a goal of being the first in my class to go under three minutes. I didn’t tell anyone, my coach or my family, and now I’ve done it.

“I saw Sascha in the call room and I thought I had to do it, it made me even more nervous. The team is on fire and we’ve still got five more days to go.”

Monday also saw the sailing competitions start, with Natural Sciences graduate Alexandra Rickham and partner Niki Birrell – the London 2012 bronze-medallists – sitting fifth in the two-person keelboat after the first two rounds.

They have two more races on Tuesday, while University of Bath-based wheelchair fencer Piers Gilliver will be going for gold in the Category A epee from 1pm BST.

Click here for our guide to who to watch at the Rio 2016 Paraylmpic Games and when.

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