Marren makes her mark to reach final

Hornchurch youngster second in 400m freestyle heat

Amy Marren produced a strong swim at the Aquatic Centre to qualify for the S9 women’s 400m freestyle final later tonight.

Hall Mead pupil Marren, 14, finished second behind her Great Britain teammate Stephanie Millward in four minutes 53.04secs, holding off the challenge of American rival Elizabeth Stone in the closing stages by one-hundredth of a second.

South Africa’s Natalie du Toit won the second heat in convincing fashion and will be the favourite for gold this evening, but Marren could feature in a race for the bronze medal after Australia’s Ellie Cole clocked 4:53.01.

Newham-born Marren led the way in the first 100m of her heat, before World silver medalist Millward began to pull clear through the middle part of the race.

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Millward had stretched her advantage to more than three seconds heading into the final 100m, but Marren - who finished fifth in the 100m backstroke final on Friday - kept her composure and kicked hard to the finish to ensure she kept Stone at bay and qualified as third fastest for the final.

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