Paralympics: Mary Fisher wins gold - 'it's all for them'

By Lincoln Tan

Kiwi Paralympian Mary Fisher is dedicating her gold medal victory to every New Zealander and all her supporters.

Fisher smashed her competitors in the Women's 100m Backstroke S11 to win New Zealand's second gold medal of the Rio Games in a world record time of 1:17.96 ahead of Liwen Cai (China) and Maja Reichard (Sweden).

"I am the one person in the lane, but it feels like every Kiwi and all the people around the world who have been supporting me and the New Zealand Team are there too - it's all for them," she said.

"The last 25m wasn't very pretty of my race but we made it in the end!"

Fisher was dominant from the beginning and led in the 50m mark, but it was after the split that she tore away from the rivals, winning by over two seconds.

"When you come to the pool deck and you're being announced into a final and tonight, to be in lane 4 because I had set the fastest time this morning - it's such a special feeling, that you can't describe in words," she said.

"You've got this big venue with 15,500 people and they are all going nuts, so the noise factor is amazing and you can feel the reverberations of how big the place is - it feels like you have this huge current swimming behind you."

The crowd leapt to their feet with a huge roar when she touched the wall.

Fisher has four more events to compete in Rio and is currently ranked top 3 in the world in five Paralympic events.

She has high hopes and aspirations on winning more medals.

In an interview with the Herald, Fisher said all her swims had medal potential, but this event and the 200IM, which she holds the world record, were her favourites.

The 23-year-old from Lower Hutt was born with a rare genetic condition aniridia, resulting in low vision which deteriorated as a teen.

She is classified S11 for totally blind swimmers in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke; SB11 for breaststroke, and SM11 for individual medley.

Fisher is competing in the 50m, 100m, 400m freestyle, the 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley in Rio.

- NZ Herald

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