A Suffolk swimmer stormed to gold in the Para Swimming World Series at Sheffield Ponds Forge in a major international event.

William Ellard, aged 16 of Beccles, smashed his personal best time to claim the Men's MC 100m freestyle title in style.

With 35 nations represented across the meet, the first day of action from Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield presented a world-class competition for the GB athletes.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The Para Swimming World Series was held at Ponds Forge SheffieldThe Para Swimming World Series was held at Ponds Forge Sheffield (Image: Submitted)

William, of St Felix Swimming Club in Reydon, triumphed in the 100m Free GOLD swim BPSM 2023 on his way to World Series gold in the Men's MC 100m freestyle.

He built on a strong start to reach the wall in 51.97, enough for a points total of 974, edging Brazil's Gabriel Bandeira into silver.

"That's a 1.3-second PB from when I came here this weekend, so I'm very happy.

"We have been doing some good work back home and it's paid off today," he said.

"It's given me a lot of confidence going forward and has shown that I can compete with those at the top of British Para-Swimming, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's next."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: William Ellard is a member of St Felix Swimming Club in ReydonWilliam Ellard is a member of St Felix Swimming Club in Reydon (Image: Submitted)

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William's dad, Dave Ellard, said he was "so proud" of his son, and thanked the "brilliant" coaching work done at St Felix Swimming Club.

As for William, his first experience of having a World Series gold medal around the neck is a testament to his efforts shown in the training pool recently.

The next major tournament will see Manchester host the 11th edition of the Para Swimming World Championships from July 31 to August 6. 

The competition will take place at the Manchester Aquatics Centre. 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Action shot of William Ellard racingAction shot of William Ellard racing (Image: Submitted)