Paralympics-SWIMMING: Stephanie toasts Cup triumph

CORSHAM swimmer Steph Millward is ready to take on Europe’s best after BT Paralympic World Cup glory in Manchester.

Millward lit up the final day of competition as she claimed gold in the 100m backstroke in 1:11.13 ahead of Australian Ellie Cole and compatriots Louise Watkin and Claire Cashmore.

And she followed that up with silver in the 50m freestyle touching home in 30.20, Watkin this time gaining her revenge to win gold.

Now Millward, who won triple World Championship silver in Eindhoven last year, will travel with a strong British team to this summer’s European Championships in Berlin and she was quick to stress the important of that event ahead of London.

“I’ve had a fantastic day here. I’ve done two very good races and I felt really strong,” said Millward, who was denied by nine-time Paralympics gold medallist Natalie Du Toit on four occasions in Eindhoven.

“I’m really pleased with the times I’ve done here and it sets me up really nicely for Berlin now.

“That’s going to be the big one this season, so we’ve got a few more weeks of preparation and hopefully once we get there we’ll be ready.”

As a member of the British squad heading to the Europeans, Millward spent the week before the Paralympic World Cup out in Mallorca at a training camp.

And having impressed despite the heavy training, Millward is confident the British team is well-placed for more success in Berlin.

“We’ve just come back from Mallorca where we were doing a lot of training,” she added.

“It was a lot of hard work so it’s good and a little surprising to come back and do so well.

“It was great with the sun on our backs out there, and I’ve come back with a nice tan, though I’m sure that will disappear very quickly.

“I’m just delighted to have won the backstroke at the start of the meet and the freestyle was good as well.”

Millward was one of eight British winners in just 12 races on the final day of the six-day competition.

As a result of their complete dominance in the pool, the British team were able to overhaul the Rest of the World and the Americas to claim their first ever Paralympic World Cup trophy.

The BT Paralympic World Cup took place in Manchester from 23-28 May with elite international athletes competing in Swimming, Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for more information.

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