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SWIMMING: Worth her weight in gold
STEPHANIE Millward recognises that the only thing ‘embarrassing’ about her trip to last week’s IPC World Swimming Championships in Montreal is the neck-breaking weight of her stunning medal haul.
The Box Paralympic swim star, who won five medals at last year’s London 2012 Paralympics, was in scintillating form to repeat the feat in Canada.
She claimed gold medals in the S9 100m backstroke and S9 100m freestyle, team golds in the (34pt) 4x100m freestyle 4x100m medley relays, as well as a silver medal in the SM9 200m individual medley.
After an extended break following her medal-winning exploits at last year’s Paralympic Games, Millward, who is hoping to move to Holt to stay near her Bath training base, admits she was apprehensive ahead of her third world championship appearance.
“I’d had such a long time off after the Paralympics that I really didn’t know how it was going to go,” said Millward, who won four silvers and a bronze at London 2012.
“I got married a few weeks ago and I’ve moved to a new area, got a new coach and a new club – I thought that I might end up embarrassing myself but that didn’t happen.
“It’s the best I’ve ever done at a competition because I’ve always wanted to win a gold medal because they just mean so much more.
“I’m the world champion in four different events and that’s just fantastic.
“We had a really young team and so many of them were coming up to me saying ‘you’ve won gold and now I really want to win one too’ – I told them that you can do it if you just keep training hard.
“Because I’m one of the more experienced swimmers, hopefully I’ve inspired them to try and win medals in the future and I hope that I’ve done the same for the younger swimmers at my club (Aquae Sulis in Bath) too.
“The medals are so heavy and I’m going to have the strongest neck around this time next year – I’m so pleased.”
Britain finished third in the medal table on 55 – an improvement of two places since London 2012.
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