Tearful Heather’s golden glory

Heather Frederiksen
Heather Frederiksen

WIGAN’S Heather Frederiksen wept after securing her first gold medal of London when she successfully defended her title in the S8 100 metres backstroke.

Frederiksen qualified comfortably fastest in the morning, and she was ahead at the turn in the final.

It looked as though she would be attacked down the final length, but she dug in and easily held off Jessica Long, of the United States, and Olesya Vladykina, of Russi,a to win in one minute 17.00 seconds.

The 26-year-old has battled ill health over the past year which has seen her hospitalised or often bed-ridden, and she came into London after just six weeks’ training.

The City of Salford swimmer peeled off her cap and cried following victory.

Frederiksen said: “I’m so pleased.

“I really really wanted that today, more than anyone ever knows, and I wasn’t going to let that go. I was so hungry for it.

“I turned at 50 and thought I’ve just got to keep it going - the crowd got me home. I’ve raced Jess a few times this year. I knew what I had to do and I’ve done it.”