Plymouth Leander’s Dunn anchors Great Britain home to relay gold at World Champs

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Reece Dunn brought Great Britain’s mixed S14 4x100m freestyle relay team home to victory on day four of the World Para-Swimming Championships in Madeira.

The multi-Paralympic champion joined Tom Hamer, Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate in the team that claimed victory in 3:44.03, which was four seconds ahead of Australia in second and Brazil in third.

“That was a good relay,” said Dunn afterwards. “The three other guys did most of the work for me and all I had to do was just catch-up and bring it home. I was focused on how I was going to do it.”

Hammer said:  “I think the victory was nice, but it was nice to be here again too. From winning it in 2019, it means a lot. Out of everyone, I had the most faith in Reece. Coming home, he is the best anchor man we could have.”

It was the experienced Firth and Applegate who swam the second and third legs of the relay respectively. Commenting on the race, Applegate was happy with what was ultimately a comprehensive victory for the team.

“It was really good, it’s so amazing to be a part of such a great team. No matter how much of a hard time one of us has, we always seem to bring it back,” she said.

Firth, who has enjoyed a lot of individual success so far this week with two solo golds, added: “It’s so different doing relays than racing individually. It has a different dynamic coming together and it’s so much fun when we can do it.”

Dunn, after his amazing exploits in Tokyo last summer where he won three gold medals, a silver and a bronze, has gone to the World Championship not in top form and with his eyes on the Commonwealth Games later this year.

However, he did reach both the 200m freestyle and 100m back finals in the opening three days, taking sixth place in the freestyle and eighth in the back.

His club colleague Cameron Vearncombe is also with him as part of the Great Britain team in Madeira.

He just missed out on reaching the S14 100m breaststroke final, finishing 10th overall in the heats with a 1:10.71 swim. He will go in his favourite medley event on Thursday.

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