Paralympics: Gold for Mary Fisher, silver for Sophie Pascoe

New Zealand athletes are well on the way to earning the 18 medals targeted at the Rio Paralympics after collecting four within an hour today.

Paralympics New Zealand have set the goal of 18 medals in Rio, including 12 golds, and had earned six after the second day of competition. It left New Zealand 10th on the overall medal tally but well behind China, who had won a mammoth 49 medals.

Vision impaired swimmer Mary Fisher led the way for New Zealand, not only winning gold in the women's 100m backstroke S11 but also doing it in a world record time of 1:17.96m, winning by more than two seconds.

Fellow swimmer Sophie Pascoe collected silver in the women's 50m freestyle S10, Rory McSweeney won bronze in the men's javelin F44 and "New Zealand blade runner" Liam Malone won silver in the men's 100m T44.

Fisher is expected to add to her tally given she has four more events on her programme, starting with the 400m heats tonight.

The euphoria of success hasn't lessened for an athlete who has achieved so much, including four medals at the London Paralympics in 2012.

"Apart from London when I won the last race of any Kiwi competing it's so up there with anything," Fisher said of her gold. "The atmosphere there, it's like this electrical crackle.

"The last few metres I was really, really hurting and my body felt like it wasn't in control but it all came together in the end and it's so nice to also get that world record. It's the icing on the cake."

It's a world record Fisher has been close to breaking over the last two years and she had no inkling in training she was going to break it yesterday. She had little time to dwell on her success, heading back to the athlete's village for a meal before getting ready for her next event.

She did, though, take a moment to take in the medal.

"I have my gold medal in my pocket," she said. "When you shake it, it makes a sound. It's slightly different to the silver and bronze medals. There are little seeds inside the medals to identify which one they are, especially for vision impaired athletes, which is awesome."

It was appropriate Pascoe won New Zealand's 200th Paralympic medal since the first won in Tel Aviv in 1968, given Pascoe is one of the country's most successful Paralympic athletes and went into the Games with nine medals in her collection.

The 23-year-old posted a personal best time of 27.72 seconds but finished behind Canadian rival Aurelie Rivard who stopped the clock in a world record time of 27.27secs.

Pascoe will also be in action tonight, competing in the women's 100m backstroke S10. Nine Kiwis are due to compete on day three of the Paralympics, including shooter Michael Johnson who was a strong medal chance in the R4 10m air rifle.

In between the medals won by Pascoe and Fisher, McSweeney was third in the men's javelin F44 with a throw of 54.99m, just over 2m behind the world record gold medal throw.

"This was an amazing night," he said. "I am over the moon. It really hasn't sunk in. I was in the bronze medal position for a while but had other competitors still to throw, so it was pretty nerve-wracking. I had to wait until the very end to know if I had won the bronze."

Completing the medal haul was Malone, who surged from fifth to claim silver in the men's 100m T44 in a time of 11.02. His time was just over a tenth slower than his heat today and behind only Jonnie Peacock, who equalled the Paralympic record of 10.81sec he set in the heats.

"Today was a super special day for me today as it is my mum's birthday," Malone said. "She passed away four years ago and I know she would be so proud."

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 19 Jan 2017 15:37:31 Processing Time: 37ms