IPC Swimming: Jess Applegate shock at Worlds medal win

Jessica-Jane Applegate
Jessica-Jane Applegate won a gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics

Norfolk swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate admitted finding it hard to believe she had won the backstroke gold medal at the IPC World Championships.

Applegate, 18, won the S14 100m backstroke after picking up silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley earlier in the week.

She told BBC Sport: "I felt like everyone was getting gold except me and I just had a silver medal.

"I'm not a backstroker but I really didn't want to settle for silver."

Applegate, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was awarded an MBE after winning a gold medal in the 200m Freestyle at the 2012 London Paralympics.

She continued: "I didn't even do my make-up because I didn't think I'd be on the podium, but I said to my coach [Alex Pinniger] 'I really want it so bad' and I put everything into the race."

Last month, the Great Yarmouth-born swimmer qualified for her first able-bodied championships - the British Summer Championships' 400m individual medley.

"I've worked so hard back home with Alex and this year's been so tough for me," she added.

"I seemed to be getting whipped by every competitor out there, so I'm just ecstatic all that hard work has paid off.

"It's a 100% boost for [the next Paralympic Games in] Rio 2016. I don't just want it in backstroke, I want it in everything - that sounds really selfish, but it's part of being an athlete."

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