Paralympics: Overjoyed swim star Ellie Simmonds tried to hide tears

A THRILLED but embarrassed Ellie Simmonds beamed a broad smile and dunked her head in the water after winning Paralympic gold to try and stop herself from crying again in public, her father said yesterday.

“It was the shock and surprise,” Steve Simmonds said about the 17-year-old’s reaction to winning the S6 400m freestyle in front of a roaring home crowd.

“You could see her look up at the time, a big smile come up on her face and she started to lose it,” he said.

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“She stuck her head in the water trying to stop herself from crying because she gets so embarrassed about it.

“It just makes me smile and laugh when I see her doing it.”

Simmonds smashed the old record by five seconds to defend her Paralympic title in a time of 5 mins 19.17 seconds.

Having had to fend-off close rival Victoria Arlen, Simmonds will be back in the Paralympic pool today as she seeks a gold medal in the 200m individual medley.

There was no celebration for Simmonds, who is still in business mode. She is hoping to get four medals at London 2012 with the 50m freestyle, the 100m freestyle as well as today’s 200m individual medley.

It was only a slightly different story for her parents, Steve and Val.

He said: “I was jumping up and down and making a complete idiot of myself in the last 50 metres. Val was the same. We had a quick hug and wanted to burst. We are just glad and relieved she did it.

“We floated back. We have been euphoric.

“Eleanor will not have done anything to celebrate as she is still in competition mode.

“We treated ourselves to a bacon sandwich this morning and that is as good as it gets for now.”

Simmonds relocated to Swansea with her mother at the age of 11 so she could be trained by coach Billy Pye in a 50-metre pool.