Paralympics: Experienced trio leads swimming team

Members of the New Zealand para-swimming team to compete at Rio. Photo / Getty
Members of the New Zealand para-swimming team to compete at Rio. Photo / Getty

Paralympic gold medallists Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher and Cameron Leslie will lead New Zealand's challenge for gold at the Rio Paralympic Games in September.

The high profile trio have been joined by fellow London Paralympians Nikita Howarth and Rebbecca Dubber, along with up and comers Bryall McPherson and Jesse Reynolds.

Between them, the para-swimming squad hold nine Paralympic titles, 22 world crowns and 10 long course world records.

The New Zealand Para squad have a target of 18 medals - including 12 gold - across up to eight sports with the aim of retaining their No 1 team in the world.

Pascoe, winner of six golds and four silver medals across the last two Paralympics is hoping to cement her place as one of New Zealand's most successful Paralympians.

"It is an exciting time for Paralympic sport," Pascoe said. "In my time, I have never before seen so much support from the New Zealand public and media."

Fisher, who had a stunning haul of a gold, two silver, a bronze and a world record in London, is officially listed as 'one to watch in Rio' by the International Paralympic Committee.

Leslie, gold medallist and world record holder at Beijing 2008 and again at London 2012 will look to continue his outstanding performances against an increasingly competitive field in the individual medley.

The Paralympics will run from September 7-18, with over 4350 athletes from 178 countries expected to compete in 22 sports with 526 medal events.

New Zealand team:
Sophie Pascoe (Christchurch, single limb deficiency)
Mary Fisher (Auckland, visual impairment)
Cameron Leslie (Auckland, quadruple limb deficiency)
Nikita Howarth (Cambridge, double limb deficiency)
Rebecca Dubber (Auckland, loss of muscle power, paraplegia)
Bryall McPherson (Auckland, single limb deficiency)
Jesse Reynolds (Auckland, single limb deficiency)

- NZ Herald

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