Northumbria University swimmer and five times Paralympic medallist Taka Suzuki, has set a new world record in the S4 100m Freestyle Short Course.
Held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, the three-day event kicked off the start of the swimming season for universities across the country, with students of all abilities having the opportunity to take part in the contest.
The world record adds another accolade to Taka’s list of sporting successes this year, including three gold medals at the Speedo and BUCS Long Course Championships in February. In April, Taka ended the World Para Series in Glasgow as the most decorated swimmer, gaining podium places in all five of his events. More recently, in September, he won four silver medals and a bronze in the World Championships in London, followed by two gold medals at the Japan Para Championships.
In his first event of last weekend’s competition, Taka clinched gold in the S4 200m Freestyle. Continuing his successful run of form throughout the contest, the Tokyo 2020 hopeful went on to win gold in the S4 50m Freestyle and S4 100m Freestyle, the race that saw him become the fastest man in the world for this race and category.
Speaking of his new world record, Taka said: “I was happy to have broken the world record in the 100m Freestyle after I was only 0.6 seconds outside the world record time in the 200m Freestyle and just 0.3 seconds outside in the 50m Freestyle.”
Several other Northumbria students also saw success at the Speedo and BUCS Short Course Championships.
Claire Cashmore, who is studying for a Masters in Leadership and Management and is current ITU World Champion for Para Triathlon, took home three gold medals.
BSc Sport Management student, Paralympic Champion and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Josef Craig secured a fourth place position.
Three times World and European Para Triathlon Champion and BA Leadership and Management student, David Ellis, claimed a gold medal and sixth place.
BA Leadership and Management student and ten times Paralympic medallist, Phelipe Rodrigues, won two silvers and a bronze, adding to their team total of 82 points for the competition overall.
Head of Aquatics at Northumbria, Louise Graham, said: “Our para swimmers were very impressive in Sheffield once again. Taka was dominant in the Men’s Freestyle events and having just missed out on 2 world records on Saturday, he was very determined to break the record on Sunday. It’s a wonderful start to his Tokyo Paralympics campaign and he will no doubt use it as a platform for his success in Japan next year.
“We will be supporting all of our Paralympic representatives throughout this season to ensure they are able to achieve the best possible academic results alongside their sporting endeavours.”
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