ALICE Tai took another big step along the road to Rio when she qualified for this summer’s IPC European Disability Champion-ships in Holland.
The 15-year-old from Bournemouth Collegiate School set three British records for the S10 category at the British Par-Swimming International in Glasgow.
Tai, who is considered a strong contender to make her Paralympic debut in 2016, is named in a 31-strong British team that will compete against Europe’s best disability swimmers in Eindhoven in early August.
The event will be her first major international championship and she already finds herself ranked second in the world in the S10 100m backstroke.
In that event Tai, who has undergone a dozen operations after being born with two club feet, lowered the British record in both heat and final, eventually stopping the clock at 1:09.85.
She also set a British record with a time of 1:04.91 in the 100m freestyle as she won the under-16 final against an international line-up.
She also won the under-16 400m freestyle in 4:54.64 and came fifth in the 50m freestyle in 30.31.
Tai’s mum Angie said: “All in all Glasgow was pretty amazing.”
Meanwhile Swim Bournemouth’s 12-year-old Blaize Kenny registered PBs in all his events as he made his first appearance at a senior international meet.
He also reached his first final despite being up to four years younger than some of his competitors in the 16-and-under category.
This was in the 100m butterfly in which he qualified eighth quickest in 1:21.76.
In the final he unfortunately swallowed water and had to stop.
“It was an awful way to finish a wonderful weekend of swimming and his first high-level final,” said coach Sam Woodward.
He narrowly missed out on the under-16 final of 200m individual medley after recording a personal best 2:55.30 – his first score above 400 British disability points. His other times were 31.79 and 1:11.19 in the 50 and 100m freestyle.