By Mark Etheridge
Beijing Paralympics gold medallist Kevin Paul slept easy on Tuesday night after powering to a world record at the national swimming championships in Durban.
Earlier in the evening, day two of the championships which also serve as Olympic and Paralympic trials, he swam to a time of 1min 05.94 in the SB9 100-metre breaststroke final.
That was 0.02sec quicker than the world record set by Russian Pavel Poltavtsevin two years ago.
Paul, born without his left pectoral, has come a long way since Beijing, proof of which is the fact that he swam 1:08.58 to get gold in Beijing.
Basking in his achievement, the Port Elizabeth law student looked back on his record swim. “I’m very happy with that swim. Training has been very intense for the time building up until now ÔÇôall with London in mind. My coach and I knew that only a very good world ranking could secure me a spot on the team. We were expecting me to go a little faster than my previous best of 1:06.45 but weren’t expecting breaking the previous record,” he told Road to London 2012.
“Its great to be feeling good for once again! With all the hard training I can’t really remember a time where I felt this good and relaxed in a race.
“But I have to enjoy it this week because its back to the hectic training again next week.”
The 20-year-old is well aware of the sacrifices building up to the Olympics. “The next time I expect to feel normal/human again will be at the Paralympics. Training is definitely going to leave me a little ‘tender’ until then.”