Simmonds goes for golden hat-trick

Halstead Gazette: Ellie Simmonds is hoping to add a third gold to her tally from the Paralympics pool Ellie Simmonds is hoping to add a third gold to her tally from the Paralympics pool

Swimming superstar Ellie Simmonds is hoping to make it a stunning hat-trick of Paralympic golds on Tuesday.

The teenage sensation from Swansea has become the nation's sweetheart after netting two golds in the pool in 48 hours during an emotional week at the Games. She competes in the 50m freestyle along with fellow Briton Natalie Jones, who won bronze on Monday.

Simmonds has swept the board after winning the 400m freestyle on Saturday and 200m individual medley on Monday.

The Games will again be given the royal seal of approval as Prince Harry is expected to appear at the women's goalball - an event played in complete silence so competitors can hear the bells in the ball.

The event will prove a far cry from his recent antics, which led to global headlines when pictures of the prince frolicking in the nude with an unnamed naked woman during a Las Vegas holiday emerged on a celebrity gossip. He is also expected to visit the Aquatics Centre later in the day.

Following his dramatic win in the 5000m final on Sunday, David Weir will again take to the track to try and bag his second gold of the Games in the 1500m event.

Nigel Murray, who is ranked number one in the world, heads into his fourth Paralympic Games bidding for gold in the boccia.

Other medal hopefuls include swimmers Jonathan Fox, who is going for a second gold in the 50m freestyle, and Heather Frederiksen, who is aiming to defend her title against American rival Jessica Long in the 100m backstroke.

As well as Simmonds' success, there was also gold for dressage golden girl Natasha Baker, who bagged her second gold at Greenwich Park in the Grade II freestyle.

Organisers have hailed the "superb" start to the Games, which has already seen more than a hundred new Paralympic records broken. ParalympicsGB start the day with an impressive 63 medals, including 19 gold, 25 silver and 19 bronze - ahead of schedule for the 103-medal target.

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