SWINDON’S Suzanna Hext was stunned to recover from an asthma attack and win a second medal at the World Para Swimming Championships in London last week, writes TOM HARLE.

The 31-year-old has chosen the biggest possible stage to make her major championships debut and sealed S5 100m freestyle bronze on the final night of racing to match the 50m freestyle silver she had already won.

However, it wasn’t all that simple as Hext suffered a severe asthma attack after her 200m freestyle heat on Tuesday, imperilling her participation later in the week at the London Aquatics Centre.

But she wasn’t to be denied in her final race as she joined fellow Brit Tully Kearney, who won gold, on the podium.

“I didn’t expect it, if I’m really honest with you,” said Hext.

“Obviously I wanted to do well, but it’s a huge experience to deal with seven months into para swimming. Other people in my classification have hundreds of races under their belt, and I’ve only got a handful.

“I just need experience over the coming months and leading into next year. I’ll be working hard over the winter on my technique and also my pacing.

“I’m over the moon, shocked and pretty emotional.

“It was a tough week at times, with what happened on Tuesday. It’s exciting to know they’re going to get the asthma under control, so there are hopefully better times and improvements ahead.”

Hext has quite a mission in the pipeline for the 2020 Paralympics. She aims to combine dressage, in which she is a triple European champion, with para swimming in Tokyo.

With National Lottery Funding still coming as part of Equestrian Team GBR, where she is a contender for a spot in the mixed team, Hext is pressing on with the double in mind.

“If my accident has taught me anything it’s to make the most of every opportunity and take every day as it comes,” she said.

“I’m having discussions over the winter and will make a bit of a plan.

“Equestrian have been extremely supportive of my swimming and I feel very lucky they’ve worked together as a team. That’s what’s making it feel possible at the moment.”

SAINSBURY’S is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport, visit: www.about.sainsburys.co.uk.