PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: Teenage star Hynd strikes gold to complete his medal set
GREAT Britain's Oliver Hynd completed his set of medals on his Paralympic debut with gold in the 200m medley.
TEEN SPIRIT: Great Britain's Oliver Hynd completed his London 2012 medal set with gold in the 200m medley (onEdition)
The 17-year old had already lifted 400m freestyle silver and 100m backstroke bronze but rose to the top spot of the podium with a dominant performance in his main event.
Having qualified second fastest, the SM8 European champion looked the man to beat throughout, turning second after 100m before taking over in the breaststroke leg.
And after beating his own European record to finish a body length clear in 2:24.63, Hynd admitted he couldn’t have hoped for a better final, although brother Sam finished just outside the medals.
“That went really well – it was everything I dreamed it could be so I’m really happy,” he said.
“I’ve worked a lot on my breaststroke so I’m really pleased I was able to hold my own on that stroke.
“The noise gave me a hint that I’d won but I wanted to see it to believe it so I turned and saw the one next to my name and that’s when I knew I’d done it.”
Louise Watkin equalled her British record as she scored S9 50m freestyle silver in her first individual event of the Games.
The four-time Paralympic medallist from Beijing had qualified fastest for the final and touched in 29.21 for her medal behind China's Lin Ping.
"I got bronze in Beijing so to move up to silver here it feels unreal," said Watkin.
"I put everything from this morning aside because I knew I had to focus on tonight and I'm just so happy with that result.
"It's such a short race, you don't have any time to make an error so to equal my best is really good as well and something I haven't done for a long time."
Charlotte Henshaw and Liz Johnson both made the podium with silver and bronze in the SB6 100m breaststroke.
European record holder Henshaw had qualified fastest and emerged as the main contender for gold as she swam neck and neck with 14-year old Ukrainian sensation Viktoriia Savtsova down the back 50m.
The Ukranian took the touch in a desperate lunge for the wall but having finished fourth on her Paralympic debut in Beijing, Henshaw insisted she could not begrudge coming 0.03 behind Savtsova for silver in 1:39.16 – the second fastest time of her career.
“Right now I a so happy,” said Henshaw. “Maybe in a couple of days when I look back at it I’ll see this, that or the other where I could have got that 0.03 back.
“But I can’t express how happy I am to win a medal at home. I was just desperate not to finish fourth like last time.
“There were four of us there who could have made that podium so I’m just so happy to have won that medal – it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
Defending Paralympic champion Johnson also clocked a season’s best as she came home third in 1:40.90.
And having now won a medal at three consecutive Paralympics, the 26-year old insisted it was a relief to have reached the podium after struggling to find her best form earlier in the season.
“I’m definitely glad I got a medal in front of a home crowd,” said Johnson.
“This morning was quite easy and I thought I had more tonight. I honestly don’t know why it didn’t happen.
“But I guess after the trials where I didn’t even qualify, I’m lucky that John (Atkinson, GB Performance Director) had the faith in Charlotte and I and hopefully we’ve repaid him with these medals.”
Rob Welbourn won the fifth Paralympic medal of his career with bronze in the S10 400m freestyle and Hannah Russell claimed her third medal medal with bronze in the S12 100m backstroke.
© Sportsbeat 2012