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Paralympic Swimming World Championships: Day 2 Results

August 16, 2010

British duo Charlotte Henshaw and Liz Johnson were outshone by American Mallory Weggemann on the second day of the IPC World Swimming championships.

Henshaw, who improved her own world record in the heats, and Paralympic champion Johnson both came into their breaststroke final hoping to win gold.

But Weggemann destroyed the field to smash Henshaw’s mark by four seconds with Henshaw second and Johnson third.

“I’m disappointed, but I want to take away the positives,” Henshaw said.

“The final went by in a blur and it was an amazing race to compete in. I can’t grumble about setting a world record in my first World Championships in the heats.”

It was Weggemann’s second gold medal of the championships after winning her 400m freestyle race on Sunday, breaking her old world record set last year by almost eight seconds.

The 21-year-old American was a talented able-bodied swimmer but was left paralysed after complications following an epidural to treat back pain.

But since joining the US Paralympic squad, she has become one of their star names and will be a force to be reckoned with in 2012.

Johnson added: “Weggemann was good at last year’s World Short Course championships in Rio so we knew she would be good.

“I’ve tried a lot of new stuff so aerobically I feel well but I am missing that top gear which I hope I can find again but it is good to have a domestic rival in Charlotte because it pushes us both on.”

Natalie du Toit

Du Toit is one of Paralympic swimming’s best-known figures

Claire Cashmore and Louise Watkin won two silvers apiece – Cashmore in her breaststroke race behind Paralympic champion Olesya Vladykina from Russia and Watkin behind South African great Natalie du Toit in the medley before they linked up with Stephanie Millward and Ellie Simmonds in finishing second to the USA in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Du Toit, 26, who has won nine Paralympic gold medals over her career and competed in the open water event at the Beijing Olympics, also revealed to BBC Sport that she will retire after the London 2012 Paralympics.

“I’m going out in 2012 so I want to compete in the Olympics and also swim and medal in all the events I can in the Paralympics,” she said.

“I know that in the backstroke and breaststroke events I won’t win the gold but to go out in all seven races I can is a challenge for me, but hopefully I can do it.”

The British men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team took bronze behind Australia and Brazil in their race.

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