Toni Shaw took S9 400m freestyle bronze on her Paralympics debut to secure Team GB’s first pool medal in Tokyo.
The 18-year-old swam to a lifetime best time of 4:39.32 to finish third behind gold medalist Lakeisha Patterson of Australia, who pipped Hungary’s Zsofia Konkoly in second.
Shaw arrived in Tokyo on the back of six medals at the 2019 World Championships, including two victories, finishing second in her qualifying heat to secure her place in the final.
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The Brit was pushing Konkoly close with two lengths to go, but the Hungarian eventually surged away to run Patterson close on the final sprint.
“I don't know what to say, I'm just so happy. The biggest thank you to all my family and friends,” Shaw told Channel 4.
It's been a different journey over the past year but without my coach, my team and my family I wouldn't be here. It's been a really good year! I was really nervous before tonight but my coach calmed my nerves.
"I'll be back for the relay on the Sunday which I'm so excited about."
Shaw’s bronze marked the continuation of an excellent first day of events for Team GB in Tokyo, following up on Sarah Storey’s dominant C5 3000m individual pursuit triumph in the velodrome.
Storey broke her own world record in qualifying en route to a 15th Paralympic title, moving her one behind Mike Kenny’s British record of 16.
Her victory over teammate Crystal Lane-Wright in the final made it a British one-two, before Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby added another British silver in the men’s B 4000m individual pursuit.
Great Britain won a stunning 47 swimming golds in Rio five years ago as the pool comfortably became the most fertile source of medals, 11 clear of the 33 won in athletics events.
Team GB will look to build on Shaw’s success in the pool throughout the day, with Reece Dunn competing in the men’s S14 100m butterfly shortly.
Jessica Jane-Applegate and Louise Fiddes contest the women’s S14 100m butterfly, with Zara Mullooly set for the S10 50m freestyle.
The S5 women’s 200m freestyle concludes Team GB’s participants in the pool for this morning, with Tully Kearney and Suzanna Hext bidding for a podium place.
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