Droitwich's Rebecca Redfern stunned by record breaking time - The Droitwich Standard

Droitwich's Rebecca Redfern stunned by record breaking time

Droitwich Editorial 27th Apr, 2016 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0

DROITWICH swimming star Rebecca Redfern cannot believe she managed to break a world record at the British Para Swimming International Meet in Glasgow.

The 16-year-old, who studies at Droitwich High School and is a member at Worcester Swimming Club, made a giant step forward to booking her place at the 2016 Rio Olympics after claiming bronze in the S13 category of the 100m Breaststroke in a record breaking time of one minute and 16.86 seconds.

Redfern, whose personal best in the event was one minute and 18.99 seconds, needed to swim under the GB consideration time of one minute and 19.71 seconds to withstand any hope of getting on the plane to Rio.

Despite a poor first attempt of one minute and 20.81 seconds, Redfern bounced back in wonderful fashion to break a 14-year long record of one minute and 17.12 seconds.

The record time also places Redfern fourth on the all time rankings for Worcestershire County as an able bodied swimmer.

Redfern now has to wait until May 16 for confirmation of team selection by Paralympics GB and in the meantime she will be making her international debut representing GB in Madeira at the IPC European Championships next week.

“It feels amazing to have broke the record but I did not expect I could do something like that,” Redfern said.

“I knew I had something quick in me but I never thought I could go that quick.

“It would mean everything to me to get selected to perform over in Rio and represent my country.”

Redfern’s father Steve was ecstatic to see his daughter break a world record after hearing of her achievement on national radio.

“We knew she had a world record in her but we thought it was going to be three years down the line and not this quick,” he said.

“If she gets selected to perform over in Rio I have no idea how it will feel.

“I was listening to BBC Radio Five Live when I heard her name and that she had broken a world record – it was surreal.

“She’s number one in the world but she’s got to work hard if she wants to get a gold medal at Rio.”

At the age of nine, Redfern was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa, which will lead to her becoming near or totally blind.

She is blind in dim light and has ‘tunnel vision’ with only a 10 degree visual field – compared to the 160 degree field of someone without visual impairment.

Redfern was classified as a visually impaired disability swimmer in late 2014 and is now part of the GB World Class potential programme, although in a probationary state until after Glasgow when all members of the programme will be reviewed.

Over the last 12 months, Redfern has competed at country, regional, national and international meets with a number of medals along the way.

She has previously broken four British records in Breaststroke events in the S13 classification before her incredible world record time.


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