Jessica-Jane Applegate – Record win was perfect for my Rio 2016 Paralympics preparations
Norfolk swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate is delighted with the way her preparations for Rio 2016 are progressing after claiming an IPC world record at the 2016 BUCS Nationals.
The London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist broke the IPC S14 world record for the 800m freestyle in the first race of the BUCS Nationals in Sheffield, where she was competing as a guest.
The 19-year-old from Belton finished in a time of 9:20.10 minutes, which was more than 19 seconds faster than that set by the previous holder, fellow Brit Chloe Davies, in April last year.
Applegate rarely has the chance to compete in the 800m freestyle as it is not included in a lot of para-swimming schedules. London 2012 Olympian Aimee Willmott won the race in a competition record time of 8:36.00.
'I am really pleased to get the world record,' said Applegate, who came ninth overall.
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'I compete in a few 800m events but I am never able to get the world record because they are not IPC registered events so it was really good to come here and be able to claim the world record.
'It was also great just to come to BUCS and compete because I love the atmosphere because you are surrounded by athletes and supporters that are the same age as you.
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'I have the British record which was 10 seconds off that so we have been trying to get into events that are IPC registered and this was one of the only ones.'
Applegate, who has Asperger's syndrome, stormed to the Paralympic 200m S14 freestyle title in 2012 in a world record time, less than two weeks after her 16th birthday.
She followed that up with a trio of medals at the World Swimming Championships in 2013, including gold in the 200m freestyle.
And last year she won a second World Championship gold in the 100m backstroke, plus two silvers, ahead of what she hopes will be her second Paralympic Games in Rio this September.
Applegate added: 'My preparations for Rio are going really well. We will see what happens but hopefully everything is moving in the right direction. Getting PBs at this time of the season is good so I am really chuffed with my world record at BUCS.'
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Partnered by Deloitte, BUCS supports athletes from a grassroots level through to Commonwealth and Olympic Games hopefuls www.bucs.org.uk