Commonwealth Games: Boyle, Pascoe win gold

By Nik Simon in Glasgow

Lauren Boyle celebrates after winning gold in the women's 400m freestyle event this morning. Photo / Greg Bowker
Lauren Boyle celebrates after winning gold in the women's 400m freestyle event this morning. Photo / Greg Bowker

With eight blazing lengths of the pool in Glasgow, Lauren Boyle finally ended New Zealand's 20-year wait for a gold medal in women's able-bodied swimming.

Not since the Auckland Games in 1990, when Anna Simic won the 200m backstroke, had New Zealand women's swimming enjoyed such as haul; with Sophie Pascoe also taking gold to make it a Kiwi double in the final session at Tollcross.

This was a majestic swim from Boyle, breaking the Commonwealth record for the women's 400m freestyle as she pulled away to beat Jazz Carlin by more than half a second.

"It was a really proud moment for me," said Boyle. "I haven't had the New Zealand national anthem at a really major competition before and I think it's really nice for the New Zealanders to hear it on the last day."

Boyle finished in a time of 4:04.47, turning the tables on Carlin, who had condemned the Kiwi to silver in the 800m discipline less than 24 hours previously.

There was little between the front-runners for the first 200m, but Boyle made her move at the half-way point. Cheered on by the 'Go Boyle' fan club sitting on the front row, she showed no sign of fatigue to hold off a late push from her Welsh rival.

"I wanted to make sure that I had a strong first half, but I needed to make sure that I had something left to fight. In the 800m I kind of got kicked in the arse on the last 100m.

Australia's Bronte Barratt took the bronze medal and Boyle confirmed her place as New Zealand's big medal hope for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Less than one hour later, Pascoe gave the large contingent of Kiwi fans even more to cheer about, dominating her field in the women's para-sport 200m individual medley.

The 21-year-old won here second gold of these Games in a time of 2:27.74, with Australia's Katherine Downie and Canada's Aurelie Rivard having to settle for silver and bronze.

"I could hear everybody shouting in the last 25m and the atmosphere was pretty special," said Pascoe.

"Through the week I've had some pretty average times. I've went out there to go for gold, and that's what I did. The time surprised me, so I'm pretty pleased with it."

- NZ Herald

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