Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate deserves her new world record, says coach
- Credit: PA Wire
Jessica-Jane Applegate's coach Alex Pinniger believes she is continuing to reap the rewards of her hard work.
The Paralympic gold medallist, from Belton, near Gorleston, produced another stunning swim to shave 0.7sec off her own British record in the national championships at Sheffield on Thursday.
The Norfolk teenager's latest S14 200m freestyle gold – in a time of 2:11.47 – helped her set a new world record. And Pinniger insists the 16-year-old deserves her growing list of staggering accomplishments because she works so tirelessly to achieve them.
The City of Norwich coach said: 'I'm over the moon. We've been working towards this all year. We actually thought she would get it around about March or April and she just missed it.
'What's really good is she's been training full-time. She's been swimming two hours a day, during competition time too, so she's swimming eight to 10km most days. And she's still managed to set a huge PB and a world record, while others often rest up at events. It it all bodes really well for the remainder of Jessica's season and there's a lot more improvement to come.'
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Applegate, who has Asperger's syndrome, finished comfortably ahead of her nearest challenger Natallie Massey (2:19.01). But while the golden girl's success looked inevitable from the outset, Pinniger also admits he knew the world record was likely to follow as a result.
'We work on split times so we can calculate where she needs to be,' said Applegate's mentor.
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'All the way through, 50m, 100m and up to 150m she was there and with one length to go I knew she was absolutely on it so I was really pleased to see how she swam the last 50m to do it.'
The swimming sensation, who has broken 80 British records in 18 months, will be aiming for more glory at August's World Championships in Canada.
Pinniger added: 'It's been a phenomenal year to just keep improving after a really good Paralympics. She's done more PBs since then and has followed on from her success. She's got what she deserves as she's worked so hard. She only had one week off after the Games and she got straight back in training.
'A lot of competitors had three months off. But as she's so young we got her back in the pool and I think that's shown. Her fitness, technique, and psychology has improved and she's going from strength to strength.'