Plymouth Leander’s Dunn ended World Championships with individual silver medal

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Reece Dunn ended the World Para-Swimming Championships in Madeira with a silver medal in the S14 100m butterfly.

The triple Paralympic gold medallist had won two relay golds with Great Britain at the championships but he had to wait until the final day to make the podium on his own.

He had been battling to be fit to even compete in Madeira, so he was delighted to return with three medals.

“I know I wasn’t fit enough maybe to get a medal in the 200m free or the medley but I know on the 100s I’ve got that early speed and efficiency to try and hang on to it, so I was really happy with that one,” said Dunn.

“I’ve had a tough year with medical issues and then being in a race to get fit. I wanted a 56 (second swim) at least so I got that and I’m really pleased.”

Dunn clocked 56.85 seconds to finish behind Brazilian Gabriel Bandeira.

He is now focused on this summer’s Commonwealth Games and next year’s World Championships.

He added: “The goals are not short-term right now, we’re thinking about next year really for a home World Championships in Manchester, but I am looking forward to being involved in the relay at the Commonwealth Games in July.”

Meanwhile, his former Plymouth Leander team-mates Ben Proud and Laura Stephens made an encouraging start to the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Proud booked his place in Sunday’s 50m butterfly final by clocking the fastest time in the semi-finals with a 22.76 swim, which was just 0.01 off the British record he set winning the world title in the same Duna Arena pool in 2017.

I’ve got very special memories of this pool, I love swimming here,” said Proud.

“I came into this meet to have fun and enjoy it – if I get on the podium, that’s amazing, if I come eighth, that’s also fine.

“I’ve come here just to warm-up into the year, heading into the Commonwealth Games and then building through over the next couple of years into Paris. That’s the thing about the first race, you get to see how your week is going to go – and I feel like it’ll be good fun this week.”

Stephens reached the semi-finals of the women’s 100m butterfly, where she clocked 58.71 seconds. Her main event is the 200m butterfly on Tuesday.

“It’s my first World Championship semi-final in the 100m butterfly, so that’s a really big step forward – and also for me, just feeling comfortable out in the arena, having fun, and that’s what I did,” said Stephens.

“This is a really nice stepping stone towards the 200m, and now I’m just excited for that one.”

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