Fruitful night five for Brits on the European stage

25 Apr 2024

Grace Harvey, Callie-Ann Warrington and Olivia Newman-Baronius became European champions for the very first time, with the fifth night of racing in Madeira witnessing six medals won in the pool by British athletes.

[Images courtresy of World Para Swimming]

In addition to Harvey (Women’s SB5 100m Breaststroke), Warrington (Women’s S10 100m Butterfly) and Newman-Baronius (Women’s S14 200m Individual Medley) hearing the national anthem ring out, there was a silver medal for Ellie Challis - who delivered a British record in the Women’s S3 50m Freestyle, and a bronze apiece for Will Ellard (Men’s S14 200m Individual Medley) and Iona Winnifrith (Women’s S7 50m Butterfly).

The very first race of the night belonged to Grace Harvey, who after missing out on a medal the previous evening by one hundredth of a second began the Women’s SB5 100m Breaststroke contest with real intent.

Splitting faster than the gauntlet she lay down to her competitors in the morning heats, Harvey looked the strongest throughout - and on looking up at the end of the race to see her name top of the scoreboard, she punched in the air in celebration of her maiden European gold.

Callie-Ann Warrington S10 Fly Gold [Madeira 2024]
Callie-Ann Warrington

Further British success soon followed as Callie-Ann Warrington struck gold in the Women’s S10 100m Butterfly.

Second at halfway to Lisa Kruger, with the Netherland’s athlete using the turn to try stretch her advantage, it was head down for Warrington as she powered into first place down the return length and into the wall to clinch a debut European title.

“I think that went really well, I executed my race as planned.” said Warrington,

“I knew that Lisa [Kruger] was probably going to get me on the turn with her being an upper limb impairment and me being a lower limb, but I hit the last 25m and I just put my head down and was going to go for it.

“I said to Faye Rogers a few weeks ago in London [at the Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships] ‘one of us has got to bring home the gold - and as you’re not there it’s got to be me’, so yeah I did what I came here to do. That’s a lifetime best and each time I swim fly I seem to drop my time and be doing really well.”

On experience the European stage for the first time, Warrington added:

“The think I’m finding most enjoyable is I love how friendly everyone is here – I’ve got really good teammates and a really good roommate as well - we’re all so supportive of each other.

“Even from other countries, it’s quite nice to have a conversation with other athletes from across the world.”

Olivia Newman-Baronius S14 200m IM Gold podium [Madeira 2024]
Olivia Newman-Baronius (centre) with fellow Women’s S14 200m Individual Medley medallists

Returning to the competition pool for the first time since her freestyle silver on day one, Olivia Newman-Baronius went a step higher on the podium with her victory in an exciting Women’s S14 200m Individual Medley racing contest.

Going toe-to-toe with Neutral Para Athlete Valeriia Shabalina, the pair traded the lead over the opening 100m. On the breaststroke Newman-Baronius made her move to the fore and did brilliantly to hold off the challenge with a kick for home to claim the gold.

In the respective following Men’s S14 event, William Ellard completed his medal set of one of each colour at these championships with individual medley bronze - closing strongly on freestyle, the 18 year-old just ran out of pool to move his way further up the medal order.

Ellie Challis S3 50m Free silver [Madeira 2024]
Ellie Challis (left)

Back on the podium for a second consecutive day, Ellie Challis lowered her own Women’s S3 50m Freestyle British record to 47.58 on her way to silver. Maintaining a high stroke rate, the Manchester Performance Centre athlete built up good momentum through the sprint encounter and shared a hug with gold medallist, Fenandez Infante (ESP), as the celebrated their efforts.

Meanwhile there was a also sprint bronze for Iona Winnifrith, with the 13 year-old completing her breakthrough maiden European Championships programme on the Women’s S7 50m Butterfly podium.

Elsewhere during a busy night of racing for the British team, Tomas Navarro-Barber placed fourth with a solid swim in the Men’s S9 400m Freestyle, while Eliza Humphrey was back in action – finishing seventh overall in the Women’s S11 100m Freestyle.

Live streaming is available on the Paralympic Games YouTube, with further event details and results on the World Para Swimming Website.