Hynd strikes gold in pool

  • Last Updated: September 5 2012, 22:53 BST

Ollie Hynd stood proud at the pinnacle as Great Britain claimed six medals at the Aquatics Centre tonight as the teenager won gold in the SM8 200 metres individual medley although his brother Sam just failed to join him on the podium in fourth place.

Hynd: Was stunned by his gold

For Ollie, his Paralympic debut has gone far beyond what he had hoped for with a gold, silver and bronze in the bag with the S8 100m butterfly to come.

There were also silver medals for Charlotte Henshaw and Louise Watkin in the SB6 100m breaststroke and S9 50m freestyle respectively with Robert Welbourn (S10 400m freestyle), Liz Johnson (SB6 100m breaststroke) and Hannah Russell (S12 100m backstroke) all enjoying third-place finishes.

It takes the number of medals won by British swimmers to 31, nine short of the target of 40-50 set with UK Sport with three finals sessions left.

The Hynd brothers had qualified for the final in second and third - their finishing positions in the S8 400m freestyle final.

Tonight Ollie moved from fourth on the butterfly through the field to second at halfway before going ahead on breaststroke and pulling away on the final 50m.

The 17-year-old touched in a new European record of two minutes 24.63 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of Wang Jiachao.

Brother Sam had a sizzling breaststroke but had too much to make up and finished 0.86secs outside the medals.

For Ollie, his success at the Games has gone beyond his wildest expectations.

"It is more than I could have dreamed could ever happen at my first Games," he said. "I didn't really want to believe I'd won until I'd seen the board.

"I touched the wall and saw the one next to my name and realised I'd won.

"I wanted to see it to believe it."

The brothers do not train together with Ollie at Nova Centurion and Sam at Swansea but the former credits his brother's success in Beijing, where he won 400m freestyle gold and individual medley bronze, for guiding him to where he is now.

Ollie rued the fact they could not share the rostrum for the second time this week, saying: "If I am going to be on the podium the person I want next to me is my brother.

"We managed to do it in the 400 but unfortunately he just missed out tonight."

Of the success of London 2012, Ollie added: "It's great to see people looking at the Paralympics saying, 'wow this is really exciting'.

"They would never have thought they would see the things they have."

Sam was gracious after the race and clearly both proud and protective of his younger sibling.

He said: "It's an honour to be in there with him and racing, not so much side by side but a lane separating us. It was really nice, really special.

"He's always been a strong IM swimmer, he did a fantastic time, he did really well."

Of their parents, the 20-year-old added: "They always say they are so proud of us whatever we do, whatever the outcome they are pleased we try our best and that is all they ask for and it is all we can ask of ourselves.

"I am happy with what I did."

Henshaw was stunned by today's events which saw her claim silver hours after setting a Paralympic record in the breaststroke this morning.

Henshaw, a team-mate of Ollie Hynd at Nova Centurion, turned first at halfway but was overhauled by Viktoriia Savtsova to lose out by three hundredths of a second in 1:39.16 with team-mate Johnson a further 1.84secs behind.

The 25-year-old endured a difficult winter and then failed to qualify at either set of trials, instead relying on performance director John Atkinson to approve discretionary selection, along with Johnson.

Fourth in Beijing, she was ecstatic despite so narrowly missing out on gold.

She said: "Right now I am so happy.

"I think maybe after a couple of days when I watch it back I'll think maybe I could have done this, that and the other to get those three hundredths

"But I cannot express how happy I am to medal at home and I was desperate not to finish fourth again like I did last time.

"There were four of us there that really could have medalled and it was an open podium.

"I am so happy with a silver medal. I don't think it has quite sunk in yet."

Team-mate Johnson was philosophical after a turbulent few months of uncertain selection and a move in May from Bath to Manchester.

The defending champion said: "I think if you can't win its always nice to get a bronze because you are like 'phew I got a medal'.

"It's always hard when there are four of you [going for three medals] because you know one of you is going to come away without a medal and you don't want it to be you.

"This morning was really easy and I thought I had more tonight and I don't really know why it didn't happen.

"I guess after trials when I didn't even qualify and now I am just lucky that John had the faith to put Charlotte and I on the team. Hopefully we repaid him."

Watkin was tearful after her silver in the splash and dash, four years after bronze in Beijing.

The City of Salford swimmer equalled her personal best in 29.21 as Lin Ping won in 29.12.

Watkin said: "I got a bronze in Beijing, so to get silver here, it's unreal.

"I knew I had to focus on tonight and I'm just so happy with the result.

On the blocks, [I was thinking] get in there, start properly, get up with them and try and stay ahead of as many people as possible. It's such a short race, you don't have time for error."

Russell picked up her third medal of the Games when she was third in the S12 100m backstroke.

It has been a hectic few months for the Guildford swimmer having done - and passed - her GCSEs, turned 16 last month and now swum at the Paralympics.

Next up is a BTEC in sport and a move to Kelly College with its well-known swimming programme.

Tonight she clocked 1:10.15 in a race won in a world record of 1:07.99 by Russia's Oxana Savchenko.

Russell said: "My legs were burning on the last 25 and I knew I just had to keep going and give it my absolute all.

"I was really pleased with it."

Russell showed great composure for one so young when she put her disappointment at her tired-looking sixth place in last night's 100m freestyle behind her.

Of her Games, she said: "I never thought I could ever get medals at such a young age in such a good, strong category.

"To come here and medal is a bonus for me.

"There have been a few ups and downs - like yesterday's swim - but I've just turned it around."