Paralympic champion Maisie Summers-Newton added Commonwealth Games gold to her collection with a swim of pure dominance.
Summers-Newton was the breakthrough star of last year's Tokyo Games, winning the 200m medley in a world record and claiming 200m breaststroke gold, putting her hero Ellie Simmonds firmly in her wake.
That meeting was staged behind closed doors, meaning the 20-year old, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes o nUK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support, was able to enjoy a vocal crowd – which included many family and friends - for the first time.
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She was quickest out of the blocks and soon opened up clear water on her rivals, clocking a season's best 1:32.72 to finish over ten seconds ahead of England team-mate Grace Harvey in silver. Canada's Camilee Berube took bronze.
“It’s really special, I didn’t expect that roar and it really brought a smile to my face, just trying to spot all my family was hard," said Wellingborough-born swimmer, who won two world titles earlier this year in Portugal.
“It’s the first time my family have been able to watch me in a few years so it’s a fantastic result, I couldn’t have asked for more.
“After Tokyo I put the pressure on myself, 100 per cent. But I’ve now achieved everything I wanted to achieve, so from now it’s just progressing on the little things, seeing how much better I can get and having fun.”
Indeed the toughest thing for Summers-Newtown was completing the swim in splendid isolation, perhaps a bit grateful that China and the USA - home to closest rivals Liu Daomin and Sophia Herzog - aren't part of the Commonwealth!
“In the 100m breaststroke, I’m used to the Chinese, the Americans, they spur me on a bit more," she added.
"I knew coming into this I would probably dominate it more than if I was racing against them. I’m really pleased with that result, it’s really good.”
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