Crowds went wild in the Aquatics Centre on Day Three of the London 2012 Paralympic Games when 17-year-old Ellie Simmonds triumphed in her 400m Freestyle – S6 battle against Victoria Arlen and broke the USA athlete’s world record by more than five seconds.
The pair were neck-and-neck going into the final turn with the Briton 0.08 seconds ahead and as she pulled away, the USA athlete had no come-back as Simmonds touched first in 5:19.17 to send the crowd into a frenzy.
Arlen, whose participation in the race was confirmed earlier in the day by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) following a review of her classification status, finished well ahead of Song Lingling to take the silver medal, with the Chinese claiming the bronze.
An emotional Simmonds told Channel 4, ‘‘I just went out there and gave it my all. I’m exhausted. I can’t believe I did it.’’
‘‘Everyone was wishing me good luck which was so nice. I did it for myself, I did it for my family.’’
With the medley still to come, she added: ‘‘I’m on form. I’ve just done a six-second PB so everything’s going really well so I’m just going to go back, enjoy this moment, enjoy my medal and my presentation. I’m excited.’’