All of Cameron Leslie's experience came to the fore with the Northland swimmer claiming the gold medal in the S4 50-metre backstroke on Thursday at the World Para Swimming Championships, just days after arriving in London and after helping the Wheel Blacks, New Zealand's wheelchair rugby team, claim a bronze medal at the Asia Oceania Zonal Championships.

Leslie, who was up against the Russian swimmer who'd set the World Record in the morning's heat, qualified third for the final, before powering home in a time of 42:13 seconds to also set a new Oceania record.

"After this morning, I knew I could do better and I knew I could hold a higher rating for longer so that was what we went out to do and yeah I was really surprised the Russian guy in lane four didn't go so well," Leslie said.

"He broke a world record in the morning and in the evening he didn't go so well, but that's international racing. You've got to be able to step it up in the evening and race when it matters."

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Leslie acknowledged it had been a pretty hectic week for the nine-year Wheel Black.

"I've played wheelchair rugby for nine years and never achieved a goal [qualifying for the Paralympics] so I guess it's been an emotional week, achieving a goal with your team mates like that and then coming away to a swimming competition that I'm really familiar with.

"It's been a really hard balancing act but luckily there's a really good support team to help you make the right choices to put your best foot forward when it comes to a race like this."

Northland was in the medals again on Thursday as Whangārei's Emma Foy and sighted pilot Hannah van Kampen claimed silver medals in the time trial of the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in the Netherlands.

Whangārei's Emma Foy (left) and Hawke's Bay's Hannah van Kampen showed great form on day one of UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in the Netherlands. Photo / SWpix.com
Whangārei's Emma Foy (left) and Hawke's Bay's Hannah van Kampen showed great form on day one of UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in the Netherlands. Photo / SWpix.com

It was the third major medal for the tandem two who had been riding together for less than a year, having won gold and bronze at the Track World Champs in March.

Van Kampen, originally from Hawke's Bay, said the pair had gone through huge improvement.

"I think we've had a little bit of time to settle in to this combination and also for both of us not having to work and being able to focus on training has been a game changer, and I think that's been a massive bonus," she said.

The pair (left) picked up a silver medal to back up a gold and bronze at the Track World Champs in March. Photo / SWpix.com
The pair (left) picked up a silver medal to back up a gold and bronze at the Track World Champs in March. Photo / SWpix.com