Longridge swimmer Stephanie Slater has her sights on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after finishing the IPC Swimming World Championships a double silver medallist and setting two new European records.
Slater made her mark as a Great Britain squad newcomer, narrowly missing out on gold behind American Paralympic champion Jessica Long in the 100m butterfly and helping the 4x100m relay team storm their way to gold and a new world record.
She also knocked five seconds off her personal-best in the 200m individual medley to claim a second silver medal and boast another European record. Slater described the championships as “emotional” and said she had been “left speechless” by her results, having only returned to the water eight months ago.
“It was a very overwhelming and fantastic competition in which I totally exceeded all expectations, as I had only been back in the water eight months,” she said.
“The team spirit was amazing and I felt I had always been part of it as I was made so welcome.”
Slater’s international debut in Montreal marks a remarkable return to competition for the former St Cecilia’s RC High School pupil.
Slater was a talented able-bodied swimmer before suffering a muscle problem, which left her without the use of her left arm.
After a two-year absence from the competition pool, Slater is now fighting fit and has refocused her goals towards a place at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next summer and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. She said: “My next competition goal is the Commonwealth games next July and after a break I will be back in the water training hard to try and obtain the qualifying time.”
She praised her swimming coach Steve Heaps and her local supporters, saying: “I would like to say a big thank you for all the cards and good wishes I have received from family and friends on my return home and thank Steve and everyone at Preston Swimming Club.”