Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Emma Cattle Silver Medal


IPC European Swimming Championships

Team Luton swimmer, Emma Cattle brought back a Silver Medal from last week's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Swimming Championships in Berlin.

23 year old Emma (who swims in the S10 Classification) had a storming week as she set lifetime bests in the 100m Freestyle, 200m Individual Medley, 50m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke also breaking her own British Record in the Backstroke & unexpectedly snatching the 50m Freestyle national record that had stood for 11 years

It was a week of intense competition & Emma summed up her performances by saying, "it is now about 6 months since I moved back to train with Team Luton & the hard work both I & Head Coach Pete Woodbridge have put in certainly came through in competition"

The Championships began last Sunday, 3rd July & Emma travelled to Manchester to join up with the rest of the Great Britain squad a week before for final preparations in the holding camp. As a competitive athlete Emma has found over her 5 years of competing internationally that she performs best with a full schedule thus competed in 5 events in Berlin.

The competition got off to a cracking start as she knocked almost 2 seconds off her lifetime best in the 100m Freestyle in a time of 1.06.21 & claim an unexpected 7th place in the final. The following day saw another big lifetime best in the 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2.43.36 & 5th place in the Final. Having said she felt "sluggish" in Wednesday morning's Heats of the 400 Freestyle by the time the evening's Final was swum she felt re-energised & clocked 5.02.65 to be within less than a second of her best time set earlier in the year in Sheffield & finish 7th.

On Thursday it was flat out sprinting in the 50m Freestyle with a lifetime best time in the Heats which she smashed again in the Finals to come so close to dipping under the 30 second mark in a time of 30.38 & saw her claim Sarah Bailey's 11 year British Record that had stood since the Sydney Paralympics. Overall Emma finished 6th in the Final

Friday's 100m Backstroke was a tense affair. In the Heats Emma bettered the previous European Record by all most 0.5 seconds in a time of 1.13.06 but couldn't quite match her Russian rival, Nina Ryabova's time of 1.13.01 from the previous Heat. The Final was nip & tuck but Ryabova pulled away at the turn & despite being closed down by Emma over the last 15m it ended with Silver for Emma in a time of 1.13.16 just over a second behind her rival

Team Luton Head Coach, Pete Woodbridge said "Emma had a fantastic Championships & turned in some really strong performances". There's no rest though for Emma as she heads for Sheffield & the ASA National Championships in Sheffield in just over 2 weeks with her eyes firmly fixed on trying to break the 1.12 mark in the Backstroke & also the 30 second barrier in the 50m Freestyle. Then she's looking forward to a short holiday before an intense 6 months of training in preparation for next Spring's London 2012 qualifying that will be the inaugural competition at the new Olympic Pool in Stratford

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