Sascha Kindred closed in on his sixth IPC World Championships with a world leading performance on day three of the British International Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield.
The 12-time Paralympic medallist comfortably secured the qualification time for the World Championships in his main event, the 200m Individual Medley, clocking the fastest time in the world this season for his SM6 classification.
Kindred has won 14 medals across the past five IPC World Championships, including 200m Individual Medley gold in Eindhoven three years ago.
And after clocking 2:45.11 to finish fifth against other classifications in the MC event in Sheffield, Kindred insisted he will be chasing medals again when he takes on his SM6 rivals at the 2013 Worlds in Montreal.
“I’ve been going a while but I’m still improving,” said Kindred. “I PB’d in London so I’m still showing the youngsters what to do and proving that us older guys can still get quicker and improve.
“You’re always learning in sport and I love what I do.
“In the last couple of years with injuries and illness, my body has been telling me that swimming is hard work. My body is asking me how long I can continue but while I’m still doing PB times, there’s no reason to stop.”
The Netherlands’ Marc Evers (SM14) eventually won the final, scoring 1115 points with his time of 2:13.19 while British SM14 pair Ben Procter and Jack Thomas won silver and bronze in 2:20.47 (950 pts) and 2:22.11 (918 pts) respectively.
While 35-year old Kindred will prepare for his sixth World Championships, 14-year old’s Chloe Davies and Amy Marren continued to impress as they secured qualification times for their first.
Having already clocked a qualification standard with a British record in her favourite 100m Backstroke on the opening night, S14 swimmer Davies bagged her second time with British record 2:32.05 for silver in the 200m Individual Medley.
“It was a really good race,” said Davies. “To set another British record at this meet is really encouraging for me.
“I’ve been training all my strokes since the Games so when I found out the individual medley had been added for S14 swimmers at this year’s Worlds, I was really excited.
“I like swimming 50s of each stroke and I’m quite fast at them. I feel really proud of myself this week – my backstroke was my first PB since the Games and I was really happy to hit a 1:08 in that.”
The Netherlands’ Marlou Van Der Kulk (SM14) won gold in 2:30.70 (1055 pts) while another Dutch swimmer, Magda Toeters (SM14) took bronze in 2:33.25 (1003 pts).
Marren has been one of the stars of the Championships, winning three medals over the opening two nights.
And she continued her form into the third day, lowering her own European SM9 200m Individual Medley record in both heats and finals, ultimately finishing fourth on 906 points.
Marren’s 2:33.34 from the heats would have landed her Paralympic gold last year while her 2:32.74 from the final is the fastest time in the SM9 classification since 13-time Paralympic champion Natalie Du Toit won the 2010 IPC World Championship title.
“It was a good race – I really enjoyed it,” said Marren. “I just went in for another PB and came out with one so I’m overjoyed with it. I enjoy the IM the most because it’s such an exciting race to be in and there’s never one clear winner the whole time.
“I’ve been enjoying my swimming so much and I’m getting the right attitude for racing now.
“It’s nice to know it would have won a Paralympic gold medal – that’s what everyone goes for. But I can only look at my own time and how I can improve that. I don’t really want to compare myself to others like that because every race is different.”
Susie Rodgers and Matt Walker ensured there would be British swimmers on the podium in the 50m Butterfly as they won gold and silver respectively.
European champion Rodgers (S7) ducked under 37 seconds for the first time this season to retain her title in 36.95 while Walker (S7) clocked 32.42 for his first medal at this meet for two years.
Lyndon Longhorne (SM4) was the only other British medallist on the night, setting 3:06.93 for silver in the 150m IM, while Andrew Mullen (S5) clocked a European 50m Butterfly record as he finished fourth in the MC final in 39.00.