ELLIE Challis has been crowned a World Para Swimming Championship medallist - at the age of just 15.

One of the youngest members on the GB team for the London Aquatics Centre championships, Little Clacton's Challis sped to a ground-breaking bronze in the 50 metres backstroke S3, coming home in a time of 58.91 seconds.

In what was her first international meet with the set-up, Challis spurned the lure of any nerves, instead racing with the joie-de-vivre of youth, and it certainly paid off.

“It feels amazing,” she said.

“I went out there to get a time and was hoping for a medal.

"This just tops everything.

“Going in, being one of the youngest on the team, it being my first international with GB, there’s no pressure at all, so you just look at your races, and the race felt amazing.

“I didn’t feel any pressure and I just enjoyed the whole thing.

“I’m going to celebrate with my team, as a lot of them have done really well as well. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

On a stellar day for the Little Clacton swimmer, Challis, who lost her limbs to meningitis when she was a baby, broke new ground in the morning session.

A fourth-place finish in her 50m butterfly S5 heat was not enough to see her through her heat but a new S3 European record - a mark she herself had previously set, as she finished in 58.3s - was more than a mere consolation.

“It feels amazing,” she continued.

“It’s been my goal to go under the minute.

"I’ve had two of my times go so close and I’ve just gone under it; I’m really shocked.

“By swimming against classifications that are up from you, it’s very challenging and sometimes you’re basically racing yourself, but I do that in Britain a lot anyway.

“I’ve really learned not to worry about what competition you’re at, where you’re at - just to focus on the race, like you’re doing it in your home pool.

“You should always walk out confident in yourself.

"If you don’t walk out confident, then you won’t believe in yourself and it’s not going to happen.”

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