Paralympics 2012: Jonathan Fox wins British gold in the pool

Jonathan Fox

2012 Paralympics

Wednesday, 29 August to Sunday 9 September
Extensive daily coverage across 5 live, 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website

Jonathan Fox claimed Britain's first swimming gold medal of the London Paralympics in the S7 100m backstroke.

Fox, 21, who has cerebral palsy, set a world record in the heats and has long spoken about his desire to improve on the silver he won in Beijing.

"In the final it's all about getting that gold medal around your neck, so I am really happy," said Fox.

GB's Nyree Kindred and Hannah Russell won silver in the S6 100m backstroke and S12 400m freestyle events.

Fox's time of one minute, 10.46 seconds in the final was slower than his heat swim, but still good enough to finish ahead of Ukraine's Yevheniy Bohodayko.

"When I turned at 50 metres I was feeling good but the last 25 metres my legs blew up," admitted Fox.

"You are always thinking in the back of your mind 'I can see the guy in lane five coming back' and you are dying inside and you just want to finish it."

For Kindred, competing in her fourth Games, the silver was the 10th Paralympic medal of her career.

Her achievement was even more impressive given the 31-year-old gave birth to her first child, Ella, less than 15 months ago.

"I'm extremely happy," said Kindred, who has cerebral palsy. "A personal best [1:26:23] and a silver medal, I can't ask for much more than that."

"Ella was here today in the crowd today. She's ready to cheer on daddy [Sasha Kindred] later on in the week."

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Russell marked her Games debut with an impressive silver and personal best of four minutes, 38.60 secs in the S12 400m freestyle final.

The visually impaired teenager, who holds British records in six different events, was involved in an epic battle with three-time Paralympic gold medallist Oxana Savchenko and led the Russian at the 250 metre mark.

Savchenko finished strongly to claim victory, but Russell looks a star of the future having knocked over 13 seconds off her personal best time since finishing fourth at last year's European Championships in Berlin.

"This is a dream come true for me and silver is a bonus," reflected Russell.

Great Britain's Susie Rodgers qualified third fastest for the S7 100m backstroke final, but finished seventh, whilst Stephanie Millward and Claire Cashmore also missed out on medals after coming fifth and eighth respectively in the S9 100m butterfly.

The event was won by Paralympic legend Natalie Du Toit of South Africa who attained the 11th Games gold of her career, whilst USA's Jessica Long achieved her eighth, by defending the S8 100m butterfly title she won in Beijing.

New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe broke her second world record of day, finishing in 2 minutes 25.65 secs and retaining the SM10 200m individual medley title.

It was also an impressive night for China with Tao Zheng claiming a world record in the men's S6 100m backstroke and Lu Dong repeating the feat in the women's equivalent.

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