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World gold rush in the pool for New Milton swimmers

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Alice Tai picked up seven gold medals at the Para-swimming World Championships in London
Alice Tai picked up seven gold medals at the Para-swimming World Championships in London

NEW MILTON’S Alice Tai capped a superb week for Team GB with her seventh gold at the Para-swimming World Championships.

The 20-year-old former Bournemouth Collegiate School student teamed up with Steph Millward, Toni Shaw and Brock Whiston to win their second 4x100m freestyle relay title.

Alice had already won gold medals in the 100m freestyle S8, 100m backstroke S8, 100m butterfly S8, 400m freestyle S8, 50m freestyle S8 and the mixed 4x100m medley relay. She fell short in her final race of the championships, finishing fourth in the 200m medley final.

Alice said that she was excited to replicate her performance at next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo: “I’m excited to see what I can do next season after the year I’ve had. I’ve had such great swims here and throughout the season so I can’t wait to bring it all together for Tokyo and smash it there.”

Meanwhile, fellow New Milton Paralympian Mikey Jones has a tough time in the pool at the world championships.

The former Ballard School pupil had reached the final in one of three events, finishing eighth over his favoured 400m.

As the current holder of the European title, Mikey was disheartened by his display and said he needs some time away from the sport before the race to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games: “I just want to go away from the meet, reflect, refocus and almost re-evaluate where I'm at over the next couple of weeks,”

Jones set his sights lower but remained encouraged by a 30.59 clocking in the 50m freestyle. He finished seventh in the final at the Rio Paralympics in the event.

Given he has been depleted by illness during the week of the global gathering, Mikey maintained he would take the positives from a strong heat swim on the final day of racing in the capital.

He said: “I was happy with the 50m swim based on how I performed through the week. I think it was my best swim of the week, ironically, without making the final,”

“I'd set my realistic target based on how I've felt and surpassed that, so I was pleased.

For more information on the GB Paralympic team, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, visit: www.paralympics.org.uk

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