Redfern at the Rio2016 Paralympics
|National team||Great Britain|
|Born||19 December 1999|
Droitwich Spa, England
|Classifications||S13, SB13, SM13|
|Club||Worcester Swimming Club|
Rebecca Redfern (born 19 December 1999) is a British visually impaired para-swimmer from Droitwich who competes in S13/SB13/SM13 disability categories. She holds British and European records in SB13 100m breaststroke.
Rebecca Redfern is the daughter of Katharine and Steve Redfern, and has three brothers, Anthony, Matthew and Nathan, all of whom also swim competitively. Redfern attended sixth form at Droitwich Spa High School where she studied A Levels in Maths, Business, and Psychology. Redfern now attends the University of Worcester where she is studying for a degree in Primary Initial Teacher Education.
Redfern is a member of Worcester Swimming Club and trains 16 hours per week in the pool plus four hours in the gym. She represents Worcester Swimming Club at club, county, regional and national level, as well as representing her country at international level.
Following her successes in 2016, Redfern has been honoured by the local community, and was invited to switch on the Droitwich Christmas Lights. She was presented with the Hereford & Worcester Sports Award for the Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year, followed by the Aspiring Talent Award at the West Midlands Sports Awards. She was also the recipient of a Black Pear Tree Award from Worcestershire County Council.
Redfern has been a competitive swimmer since age 9 but didn't enter the para-swimming world until 14 when she was spotted by the British Swimming Vision for Rio programme in September 2014.
On 3 May 2016 Redfern made her international debut at the 2016 IPC Swimming European Championships in Funchal, Portugal, claiming a silver medal and narrowly missing out on gold to Elena Krawzow (Germany) by 0.02 seconds.
Redfern achieved the consideration time for the 2016 Rio Paralympics at the 2016 British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow, UK where she set a new world record of 1:16.86 in the process, beating the one set 14 years previously by Kirby Cote of Canada.
She made her Paralympic debut when she represented Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She swam a time of 1:13.81 which was over two seconds inside her own world record, although she finished second behind Fotimakhon Amilova of Uzbekistan who set a new world record of 1:12.45. Redfern's time also claimed the Worcestershire county record as an able bodied swimmer, and the IPC European record.
2017 was a frustrating year for Redfern, when having achieved the British Swimming qualifying standard for the Para Swimming World Championships at the GB Summer National Championships in Sheffield in July 2017, the Mexican earthquake disaster meant that the Para Swimming World Championships were postponed, and British Swimming elected not to send a team to the rescheduled event. However Redfern was able to end the year well by breaking the short course world record for SB13 100m Breaststroke when she swam 1:14.80 at the Short Course Para Nationals in Manchester in December, beating the previous mark set by Kirby Cote of Canada in 2002.
2018 was equally frustrating. Redfern qualified for the European Championships in Dublin, however the SB13 100m Breaststroke event was demoted to a non medal event due to limited number of entrants. Rebeccca won the non medal event in a time of 1:15.99, her best since Rio.
In April 2019, Redfern qualified for the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships. This event was originally planned for Malaysia, but due to political reasons it needed a new venue. Luckily for British athletes the revised venue was eventually determined to be London during September 2019. where the swimmers would return to the scene of the hugely successful 2012 London Paralympics. At the World Championships, Redfern experienced her first taste of international glory when she beat Colleen Young of USA into second place to take the gold medal and title of world champion.
Redfern's focus now turns to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
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