PARALYMPIC hopeful Alice Tai smashed two British and European records as she gave Little-down spectators a rare glimpse of disability swimming at its best.
The 15-year-old from Bourne-mouth Collegiate School missed a third British record by the slimmest margin during the Dorset Championships.
Tai was presented with a certificate by Dorset ASA president Gerry Griffin marking her international debut with a British team in Brazil before Christmas. She responded by showing why she is considered one of Britain’s top prospects to make the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
Her time of 33.45secs in the S10 50m backstroke knocked almost a second off Emma Cattle’s longstanding British record and 0.2sec off the European mark.
Tai also knocked a second of her own European record for the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:08.78 to bring her within 0.9sec of the world record. Her 50m free-style time of 29.96 was just 0.01sec outside Cattle’s British record.
Even more remarkably, she also beat the majority of able-bodied swimmers in all six of her events and would have won a silver and a bronze medal in the 15yrs age group had she not be swimming in a separate multi-disability (MD) category.
Swim Bournemouth’s 12-year-old Blaize Kenny won four events in boys’ MD events.