Paralympics: Sophie Pascoe leaves rivals gasping on her way to gold

A dominant display saw New Zealand Paralympian swimmer Sophie Pascoe win gold with ease in the 100m 
backstroke S10 final in Rio de Janeiro. Photo / Photosport
A dominant display saw New Zealand Paralympian swimmer Sophie Pascoe win gold with ease in the 100m backstroke S10 final in Rio de Janeiro. Photo / Photosport

Kiwi swim star Sophie Pascoe won her second medal in her second outing in dominant style at the Paralympics in Rio yesterday.

Pascoe won gold in the women's 100m backstroke S10 in a time of 1m 07.04s, nearly a full second ahead of Bianka Pap (Hungary) and Alice Tai (Great Britain).

Pascoe went into yesterday's final having qualified fastest in the heats, easily making it through to the final in a time of 1m 07.23s, nearly 2s ahead of her nearest rival.

Pascoe's personal best in the event is 1m 05.95s.

The backstroke win follows hard on the heels of Saturday's silver in the women's 50m freestyle S10, a race in which she was narrowly beaten by a world record-breaking swim by Canadian rival Aurelie Rivard.

Pascoe made history in the swim, winning New Zealand's 200th Paralympic medal.

Afterwards, Pascoe paid tribute to her friend and training partner, Hayley Edmond, who died after a battle with cancer earlier this month.

"She was a massive part of the whole journey to Rio for me, and I'm definitely thinking about her. It's so hard for her family and the whole swimming community, Hayley was so young and such a great person. It's a terribly sad loss," she told Fairfax.

Meanwhile, Mary Fisher could not replicate her stunning form of Saturday during her second outing at Rio.

Fisher finished just outside the medals in fourth in the women's 400m freestyle S11. The event was won by Liesette Bruinsma (Netherlands) in a time of 5m 15.08s, followed by Cecelia Camellini (Italy) and Qing Xie (China).

Fisher finished in a time of 5m 28.28s, bettering her time from heats by more than 5s. Her personal best is 5m 18.12s.

Fisher, who set a new world record on her way to winning the 100m backstroke S11, was only ever in contention for bronze as Bruinsma and Camellini raced clear. However, she couldn't improve on her qualifying ranking.

Despite missing out on the final, Hamish McLean made a promising start to his first Paralympics.

The 16-year-old set a personal best time of 34.81s in the men's 50m freestyle S6 to finish 19th overall.

Meanwhile, Paralympic debutant Greg Reid stormed into the final of the R3 mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1.

Reid, a 54-year-old meteorologist from Wairarapa, shot a total of 632.5 during the qualifying rounds to go from 30th to seventh overall.

He will be hoping to improve on fellow shooter Michael Johnson's effort after the four-time Paralympian finished fifth in the R4 mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2 event.

At the velodrome, Kate Horan finished sixth in the women's 500m time trial C4-5.

Horan was the ninth of 14 riders to take the track and set the pace with a time of 37.750s.

However, that didn't last long as the remaining cyclists all posted faster times, Britain's Kadeena Cox claiming gold in 34.598s.

Byron Raubenheimer failed to secure a spot in the final of the 4km Pursuit C4, setting a time of 5m 08.57s to finish in 10th place.

Thursday's gold medallist in the women's long jump T47, Anna Grimaldi, was back in action yesterday competing in the heats of the women's 100m T47.

Grimaldi has qualified fifth fastest with the final to be run this morning.

Grimaldi did a personal best in her heat, clocking 12.88s.

It was a day for debutants, with Caitlin Dore making her first outing as a fully-fledged Paralympian.

Competing in the women's javelin F37, Dore finished seventh.

Dore, 20, only stepped on to the international stage for the first time last year, competing in the 2015 IPC athletics world championships.NZME

- NZME.

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