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Bethany Firth hails team spirit after record time delivers second world gold

Thomas Hamer, Jessica Applegate, Bethany Firth and Reece Dunn show off their gold medals after winning the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay S14.
Thomas Hamer, Jessica Applegate, Bethany Firth and Reece Dunn show off their gold medals after winning the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay S14.
10th September 2019, Aquatics Centre, London, England; London 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships
Great Britain's Bethany Firth (left) and Jessica-Jane Applegate collect their Gold and Bronze medals during day two of the World Para Swimming Allianz Championships at The London Aquatic Centre, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 10, 2019. See PA story SWIMMING London. Photo credit should read: Tess Derry/PA Wire
Great Britain's Bethany Firth during the Women's 100m Backstroke on day two of the World Para Swimming Allianz Championships at The London Aquatic Centre, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 10, 2019. See PA story SWIMMING London. Photo credit should read: Tess Derry/PA Wire

By Joe Leavey

Bethany Firth is having the time of her life at the World Para Swimming Championships - and a second gold medal of the week certainly won’t dampen her spirits.

The 23-year-old starred as the home quartet of herself, Dunn, Jessica-Jane Applegate and Thomas Hamer notched a thrilling world-record time of 3:42.21 at the London Aquatics Centre.

And Firth is simply relishing the team dynamic that carried them all the way to a stirring title.

“It’s such an exciting event and we were all cheering each other on in the call room,” she said.

“It’s great just to come together and race together, and I think we do really well as a team.

“It’s great. Everyone’s enjoying each other and pushing each other on. It’s great to be in London with our home crowd, so it’s just an amazing event.”

A brand-new event for the London championships, the GB squad was decked with talent, with nine Paralympic medals split between their number.

But for a time it seemed as though they might miss out on top spot, that was until Dunn had his say - making up a 15m deficit in his final-leg swim to deliver the goods, something that did not surprise Firth’s teammate Applegate.

“I wasn’t nervous, because I know that he’s an absolute animal; he’s a chaser and he loves to race,” she said.

“He has been setting records here there and everywhere this week. We had 100% confidence in putting him last.”

While Dunn himself added: “I don’t know how I did it. We were 15m behind, so obviously I knew I had to put in a big effort.

“We knew we had a deficit, knew it was not going to be easy. We went in with a positive attitude and it paid off.”

Sainsbury’s is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/

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