Seven medals for ParalympicsGB swimmers on opening night of sporting action at Rio 2016.
Ollie Hynd and Bethany Firth broke world records on their way to winning gold in the pool at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Kirkby-in-Ashfield’s Hynd touched home in a time of 4:21.89 in the 400m freestyle S8 to improve upon his silver from London 2012 and his own world record time – not to mention his brother Sam’s Paralympic best.
Nova Centurion swimmer Hynd, who was followed home by Jarrow’s Josef Craig in sixth, said:
“I don’t think there has been a day where I have not thought about London and how disappointed I was not to get the gold so it makes it all worth it now.
“I’m so happy with the time, I wanted to go under 4:20 if I’m honest but a world record, I’m happy with that.
ParalympicsGB’s second gold in the pool came through Seaforde’s Firth in the 100m backstroke S14 as her time of 1:04.05 saw her claim a second world record of the day, as teammate Jessica-Jane Applegate finished with bronze.
“I’m so chuffed with that but I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone back home – especially my church and my family.
“Hopefully there’s many more medals to come for the rest of the team.”
Corsham’s Stephanie Millward claimed ParalympicGB’s second medal of the day in the pool with silver in the 400m freestyle S8, and Cambourne’s Harriet Lee followed that up with silver in the 100m breaststroke S9.
“I just wanted to get out there. The last four years have been a struggle so to get down to this point and swim that time in that race, I feel so happy.
“It feels amazing. I have such amazing support back home and Team Lee have been phenomenal.”
There was also bronze for Andrew Mullen as the Glasgow athlete swam a personal best 2:40.65 in the 200m freestyle S5 to win his first Paralympic medal.
While Jonathan Fox rounded off the night for ParalympicsGB with a silver in the 100m backstroke S7 – Ukraine’s Ievgenii Bogodaiko turning the tables on him from London 2012.
“The last 25m slipped away from me and that’s where he got me. It’s a race. People win and lose. To come back from injury and get to my third Paralympics is an achievement.”