Golden Girl Steadman Smashes World Record

LAUREN Steadman won a gold medal for Great Britain at the IPC World Short Course Championships in Brazil, smashing a three-year-old world record in the process. Steadman joined up with Stephanie Millward, Eleanor Simmonds and Louise Watkin – the team that

LAUREN Steadman won a gold medal for Great Britain at the IPC World Short Course Championships in Brazil, smashing a three-year-old world record in the process.

Steadman joined up with Stephanie Millward, Eleanor Simmonds and Louise Watkin - the team that swam to 4x100m relay gold in November's European Championships - to knock more than a minute of the previous world mark.

Having missed the record by just three seconds last month, the 16-year-old from Sawtry and her team-mates set themselves the ambitious target of breaking the world record in the final.

Steadman said: "We knew we wanted to put down a time that would send a message to the other countries. Before the race we looked at the split times we'd been swimming in practice, and we told ourselves to aim for 4:26.


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"In the final itself we all hit the split we wanted, or bettered them, and after missing the record by just three seconds last time, it was a pretty amazing feeling."

Taking over from Simmonds for the third leg, Great Britain were in third place before Steadman set her personal best split to pull her team back into the lead ahead of the anchor leg.

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She added: "It was a fast pool, but not as fast as it could have been, because the water was very warm. We knew beforehand that we were a fast team, but there aren't many short course meets so we all felt that this record had been a long time coming."

Steadman also qualified for the finals in the individual women's 50m and 100m freestyle.

She finished in eighth position in the 50m freestyle, and set a personal best on her way to seventh in the final of the 100m freestyle.

"I set myself the goal of reaching the finals and setting personal bests, and I did that, so I am pleased. I would have liked to swim faster in the 50m freestyle, but overall I am happy."

Steadman swims in a long course meet at Swansea this weekend as she builds towards her next big championships, the British Championships in April.

However, she is facing funding challenges as she looks to continue her international progress on the route to the 2012 Paralympics.

Steadman is hoping to attract sponsorship to help her with equipment, travel and accommodation costs as she bids for medals at the 2012 Paralympics. Those interested should call Sharon Steadman on 07775612173 or email a.steadman@virgin.net.

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