SWIMMING - Rebecca and Matthew Redfern to join forces at Para Swimming World Championships - The Droitwich Standard

SWIMMING - Rebecca and Matthew Redfern to join forces at Para Swimming World Championships

Droitwich Editorial 2nd Aug, 2023   0

SIBLING rivalry will be pushed aside as Rebecca and Matthew Redfern join forces in their medal quest at the Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester.

The Droitwich duo will both be in action with former world champion and two-time Paralympic silver medallist Rebecca looking to grow her collection, while older brother Matthew will be looking to win a first world medal after making his World Championships debut in Madeira last summer.

Both Redferns will be targeting individual events at the Championships but the pairing will also be racing together in the mixed 4x100m medley relay during the week, an opportunity that excites both.

Matthew said: “Rebecca has been on the team for many years and I’ve only been here for a year or so.

“This is our second major championships together and it’s really nice to be competing alongside her, especially with us both being in the same relay.

“It’s very much a sibling bond rather than a sibling rivalry because we have to push each other to be better, so we can both perform and try to aim for that medal.

“We also fell one short of the medal last year, we came fourth, so we’ve got our sights set on at least a bronze this time around.”

Rebecca added: “In training we are competitive together and when we come together to race, it’s a team atmosphere. It’s nice having him here and it’s another home comfort.

“It’s really exciting. Last year I was diving over the top of him and it was like ‘this is what we do every day, this is great!’ To share that moment, and all the nerves leading up to it, it’s special.”

Some 169 athletes will become world champions across seven days of racing, with over 500 swimmers from 67 nations set to compete in the newly refurbished Manchester Aquatics Centre pool.

Home comforts are something that could prove key for both, particularly for Rebecca as she targets multiple medals across her mixed and individual events.

Competing in Manchester means that, for the first time, her three-year-old son Patrick will be cheering her on from the stands.

And she said: “For me personally, it means that my little boy is going to be in the crowd watching. That adds a massive pressure for me, as I just want to make him proud. Our parents are going to be there as well and our coach, so I guess having those home comforts is going to make all the difference I think.

“It’s really exciting that it’s so close to home. You can really feel the buzz within the team, and with all the other countries arriving. It’s beginning to feel quite real now.”

Matthew added: “It’s quite nice to be the host country.

“Where we’ve been elsewhere it’s always been like we have to be respectful as the guests, but now we’ve really got to put on a show for the other countries that are arriving, really welcome them to the UK to compete at this competition.”

The Para Swimming World Championships take place from July 31 to August 6.

It is the third time the Championships have taken place in the United Kingdom after London in 2019 and Glasgow in 2015.

British Swimming is the national governing body for swimming, diving, para-swimming, artistic swimming, high diving and water polo. To follow our divers and other athletes at the World Championships in Fukuoka, make sure to follow us @britishswimming on Instagram and Twitter or head to www.britishswimming.org


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