Four golds lift Australia into top five
16 Sep 2016
Australia continued its domination of the 4x100m women’s freestyle by winning gold in a world record time, one of four gold medals on the day eight as Australia climbed into the top five on the Paralympic Games tally in Rio.
Ellie Cole, Lakeisha Patterson, Maddison Elliott and Ashleigh McConnell won the 34 point freestyle relay in a time of 4 minutes 16.83 seconds, more than three seconds better than Australia’s previous world record set in London.
The stunning performance followed 15-year-old Tiffany Thomas Kane’s come-from-behind victory in the SB6 100m breaststroke in new Games record time.
“I’m feeling so happy and shocked,” Kane told the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) website. “I wanted to win that medal and I wanted to get the gold, and just to think that it’s mine I’m just really happy, I can’t believe it.
“Through the swim I was very nervous, considering it was my main event, but I just wanted to try my best and do my best time. I was thinking of breaking my world record, but considering I’ve done so many races I was a bit buggered. But I’m just so happy to think that the gold medal is mine and that I did it.”
On the track, world champion sprinter Scott Reardon achieved his career ambition winning gold in the 100m T42. Reardon, a leg amputee, immediately paid tribute to his coach Iryna Dvoskina, who has had remarkable success on the international stage.
“That’s seven years of hard work under a really, really good coach who probably knows more than any other person in the world,” Reardon told Channel 7.
“To do that for her and anyone who’s come before … all those who have done so much for the sport of the over the years – it’s another one for Iryna.
“That probably brings up 55 medals at either Paralympics or world championships for Iryna. She’s a special lady.”
Australian canoer Curtis McGrath added the title of Paralympic champion to his impressive CV winning the men’s KL2 final.
“To actually cross the line in first place is really nice to have that relief and satisfaction of gold,” said the former Australian army sapper, who chased down six-time world champion Markus Swoboda.
“Markus is a very strong paddler and the sport wouldn’t be the same without him and he’s got an amazing start. It’s actually a carbon copy of our race in Duisburg (Germany) in world champs this year. He’s ahead at the 100 metre mark and I slowly, gradually kick in another gear.”
Monique Murphy rounded out a great day for Australia in the pool taking silver in the 400m freestyle S10 exactly 900 days after almost losing her life.
“Two years ago I woke up from a coma and found out that I had fallen from a fifth floor balcony and I’d had my right foot amputated,” Murphy said.
“Swimming was the lifeline. I was struggling a lot with pain and mobility and as soon as I got back in the water all my phantom pain pretty much stopped straight away. I had an outlet for the energy and had a goal each day to get in the water and accomplish something.”
Australia also picked up more medals in track and field, finishing second in the women’s 4x400m T53-54 final and third in the women’s 4x100m T35-38 relay.
On the water, Amanda Reynolds finishing with silver in the women’s KL3 and Brisbane’s Susan Seipel took bronze in the women’s KL2.