Golden girl Jessica’s world record

GREAT YARMOUTH Paralympian Jessica Applegate left the Sainsbury’s UK School Games last year with unfinished business but after rewriting the record books at the 2011 competition she declared a job well done.

The 15-year-old started her weekend off in style as she not only stormed to the MD 50m freestyle gold, but did so in world record time thanks to a finish of 28.90 seconds.

The England East swimmer was 0.41 seconds off the world leading time when she won the same event at last year’s competition, only to duck under it by 0.05 seconds as she defended her crown.

But she wasn’t done there as she was just 0.04 seconds outside the British record in claiming MD 100m freestyle gold with a time of 1:03.30 minutes, leaving her to toast a job well done in the Steel City.

“The weekend went better than I expected. It’s been great as I’ve been trying for this event and these times for a year,” said Applegate, who attends Ormiston Venture Academy.

“Obviously getting the world record was the highlight because I’ve been trying for that all year so that really did feel like mission accomplished when I found out.

“I set my goals pretty high so it meant I wasn’t as shocked when it happened. I really wanted it to happen here but I would have been just as focused if I would’ve had to wait for a little longer.

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“Being in Sheffield has been fantastic because there’s a great atmosphere and everyone has been really well supported.”

Ever the perfectionist Applegate managed to find fault with her 100m performance despite chalking up a new personal best – and she even revealed that her preparation for the event in Sheffield had been hampered by a shoulder injury.

“My second race went really well because even though I went out a bit fast and came back a bit slower I still got my personal best and the British record,” she added.

“I set my goals pretty high so it meant I wasn’t as shocked when it happened.

“I’ve just got back from a shoulder injury that kept me out for a couple of weeks so that has disrupted me a little bit so It’s great to perform like this.”

To find out more about this year’s Sainsbury’s UK School Games visit