World Record Broken En Route To Final
Jonathan Fox set a new world record this morning as British performances at the Aquatics Centre boded well for medals tonight on the first day of competition at the Paralympics.
Fox was already the holder of the S7 100 metres backstroke world record but today he lowered it by 0.59 seconds to one minute 9.86 seconds.
The 21-year-old led from start to finish in his heat and was almost three seconds faster than any of his rivals into tonight's final.
The Cornish swimmer originally from St Stephen turned to the scoreboard and beat the water upon realising his achievement with the crowd at the Stratford venue ecstatic.
He said: "I came to the heat looking to qualify first for the final tonight which I have obviously done.
"I didn't realise I had broken the world record until I looked up at the scoreboard.
"I had wanted to go under 1:10 for a very long time and this is really the competition to do it at.
"I'm very happy.''
Fox described the crowd as "awesome'' and it was notable that there were far fewer empty seats today than during the Olympics.
Now, though, Fox must put this morning's swim behind him and return this evening to claim his first Paralympic title and go one better than his silver from Beijing.
He said: "Some people ask how I cope with the pressure. I've got my own ways, I just keep to myself and perform to my best.''
The Mick Massey-trained swimmer often uses a Rubik's Cube in order to "get in the zone'' and block out any distractions ahead of racing.
However, the puzzle did not make any appearance this morning and given his success, it prompts questions as to whether it will be needed on Thursday 30th in the final. "I'll see, maybe,'' he said.