Paralympics: Record swim yields Games gold for Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe won Paralympics gold, NZ's fourth, in the 200m IM SM10 swimming final. Photo / Photosport
Sophie Pascoe won Paralympics gold, NZ's fourth, in the 200m IM SM10 swimming final. Photo / Photosport

Paralympics star Sophie Pascoe is revelling in another gold medal and a world record from her latest success in Rio.

The Christchurch swimmer dominated the 200m individual medley SM10 final, thanks largely to a great butterfly leg. Pascoe beat the record she set in London four years ago by more than half-a-second, finishing about six seconds ahead of Canadian Aurelie Rivard.

Pascoe said: "To be good at all four strokes and to put it all together in one race is challenging.

"I set the benchmark pretty high four years ago, setting the world record with a 2:25 and to finally turn around tonight and see a 2:24, I am just absolutely stoked. I am really relieved and could not be happier to be able to share this moment with my family, friends and support team."

The 23-year-old Pascoe, who still has butterfly and freestyle events to go this week, has won 13 medals over three Paralympics, including eight golds.

She has won two golds in Rio, taking New Zealand's tally to four.

The medal proved a golden end to day four for the New Zealand team, which began with a stand-out race from tandem para-cycling pair Emma Foy and Laura Thompson at the Rio Velodrome. They battled away with great determination to reach a silver in the women's B 3000m individual pursuit.

The three-time world champions came into the final having qualified second fastest in the heats and clinched silver in their first Paralympic attempt as a team. Pilot Thompson won gold, silver and bronze at the London Games four years ago. Foy only entered para-cycling three years ago.

"To win silver is a great achievement. It felt rough out there and it was hard and it did not come together how we would have liked it to. Our qualification round this morning was great and we did a time we were really happy with," Foy said.

The junior tandem pairing of Amanda Cameron and Hannah van Kampen did well to reach the ride-off for the bronze in the same event, just sixth months into their partnership, finishing fourth.

Long jump gold medallist Anna Grimaldi narrowly missed out on adding a bronze to her collection, finishing fourth in the 100m T47 final by just 0.1sec.

Grimaldi, who won gold for New Zealand four days ago after a stunning personal best on her final jump, qualified fifth fastest in her second event. She clocked a personal best 12.88sec in the heat and 12.96sec in the final.

Jacob Phillips, a 19-year-old Paralympic debutant from Hamilton, managed a personal best time of 28.78sec to make the final of the men's 200m in the T35 category, 1.3sec behind the fastest qualifier.

Nelson-born Liam Malone set himself up as one of the favourites to win the final of the men's 200m T44, qualifying fastest in 21.33sec, nearly a second quicker than his previous personal best.

New Zealand's total medal tally for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is now four gold, three silver and two bronze.

- NZ Herald

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