December 11 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Jessica-Jane Applegate will bring a full set of medals back to Norfolk after ending her stunning week in Canada on a high.
The Paralympic champion had already won a 200m freestyle S14 gold and 100m backstroke S14 bronze at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Swimming Championships in Montreal before the weekend.
But on Sunday, and during the early hours of yesterday UK time, the sensational 16-year-old took on arguably her bravest challenge yet by competing in the 200m individual medley SM14 – a discipline she could only start thinking about late last year when she learned how to swim breastroke.
Yet Applegate, who has Asperger’s syndrome, blew any doubters away by winning her heat and bagging a silver in the final to leave her friends, family and supporters around the globe in raptures.
The teenager, who comes from Belton, near Gorleston, told British Swimming: “My plan was to go out fast, fast and relaxed, and see what happened on this one. Try and bring it back on the last 50m,which I managed to do, because I knew breaststroke’s a really weak one for me. But yeah, I get to wear my podium shoes and now I have the full set of medals.
“I really struggle with my breaststroke because it’s not my main event and I do like 52 seconds just for my split but everyone’s a 45 and it takes a long while to catch up with them.”
She added on Twitter: “I’ve always wanted a full set of medals and now I do. A bronze, silver and gold! Thank you all so much. Three races – three personal best times – three medals!”
Applegate – who broke her own world record to clinch the 200m freestyle crown – finished just 1.77 secs behind Marlou van der Kulk in her major medley race bow.
The star’s silver was one of four claimed by Great Britain on the event’s final night to bring their haul to 55 medals in total which secured a second-placed finish behind Ukraine in the standings.
While matching the success of last year’s London Games in the front crawl, it was the City of Norwich swimmer’s success in the backstroke and IM categories which will have delighted her coach Alex Pinniger the most. Applegate finished fourth at the Paralympics in the backstroke and hadn’t even taken on the medley – which involves all four recognised styles of swimming – when she became the county’s golden girl.
A host of congratulatory messages have already poured in on Twitter overnight for the Norfolk superstar.
- Video courtesy of British Swimming’s YouTube channel.