Norfolk’s Jessica-Jane Applegate earns world title chance

Jessica-Jane Applegate during a civic reception held in Great Yarmouth after her Paralympic gold med

Jessica-Jane Applegate during a civic reception held in Great Yarmouth after her Paralympic gold medal success at London 2012. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Coach Alex Pinniger says he never doubted Jessica-Jane Applegate's ability to qualify for the World Championships.

Applegate came through an anxious British Para International Swimming Championships with the Great Yarmouth swimmer's place at the worlds finally confirmed.

'I was never in any doubt that she would qualify,' said Pinniger. 'She has worked incredibly hard throughout the winter training programme and is living proof of what can be achieved if you work hard.

'The City of Norwich swimming club are very proud and wish her the very best for the World Championships 2015.'

Applegate had qualified to compete in three events held over three consecutive days in Glasgow for an event which was also the trials for the World Championships – in the same city.


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The qualifying times bar was high – as Applegate discovered.

In the 200m Individual Medley, she managed a three-second personal best time in the finals, obtaining an A standard qualifying time at the same time, but even that wasn't enough as her time had been beaten by a rival. That left her needing the more difficult B standard time and she went from a 2:30.73 to a 2:27.37.

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Applegate's weakest event of the three, the 100m Backstroke, followed, but she still managed to claim another personal best in the final, finishing in 1:08.51.

Her favoured event, the 200m freestyle, saw Applegate swim an storming race in the heats, claiming an A standard qualifying time in a 2:08.57 only to get knocked out minutes later when her time was beaten again.

This meant that her only hope of representing Great Britain this year was in the final – in yet another personal best time.

Applegate and Pinniger went over the heats footage and set some technical goals to try in the finals.

Applegate touched in 2:07.33 – another personal best time and a B standard qualifying time.

In previous years world championship teams have consisted of 30-plus athletes – this year in Glasgow there were only 12 swimmers who reached their qualifying standards, but Applegate had done enough.

'I'm really ecstatic,' Applegate said. 'I had loads of technical goals from the heats and I've just gone over my swim again and there is so much more to work on.

'I'm really looking forward to the summer, I can't wait to get my head down and train hard. It's really difficult to be out there on your own because when you're next to someone, you know what sort of pace they are doing. So it was hard to go out on my own and I knew if I picked it up for the final 50m I would have a chance.'

She added: 'That had to be the hardest event I have ever competed at. Not only were the times difficult, but there was a lot of negativity from other swimmers who were struggling to reach their times. I am so happy to be on the Great British team again representing Norfolk.'

Anyone interested in joining the UEA City of Norwich swimming club should email Alex Pinniger at alexpinniger@gmail.com

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