Sophie Pascoe won gold, collapsed afterwards, may have broken her finger, and still satisfaction eluded her at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Talk about exceedingly high standards.

Pascoe hit the deck and had to be helped to her feet by officials soon after clinching her 12th Paralympic and Commonwealth Games gold in the SM10 200m individual medley on Saturday night. She also damaged her finger on the turn which will be assessed further and may be broken.

Finishing four seconds ahead of Canada's Aurelie Rivard and Australia's Katherine Downie, the only time that seemed to matter to Pascoe was the one that placed her almost three seconds off her world record mark of two minutes 24.90 seconds.

"The body obviously wasn't responding afterwards. That's bound to happen when you give it everything and your body is full of lactic acid," Pascoe said of collapsing.


"I've recovered a little bit after what was a very tough race. It was bittersweet there seeing the time but that's what racing is about I gave it everything I could."

If accepting the role of flag bearer added another layer of expectation, as it does all athletes bestowed the honour, Pascoe sure didn't show it.

Cruising to gold, she followed New Zealand's last two flag bearers, Dame Valerie Adams and Irene van Dyk, who both finished top of their fields at their respective Commonwealth Games.

Leading from the front in and out of the pool, Pascoe is now an unbackable favourite to claim back-to-back golds in the SB9 100m breaststroke on Monday. The decorated Cantabrian did, after all, do exactly that in Glasgow four years ago.

Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand celebrates following victory in the Women's SM10 200m Individual Medley Final. Photo / Getty
Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand celebrates following victory in the Women's SM10 200m Individual Medley Final. Photo / Getty

But, two years out from the Tokyo Olympics, winning isn't all that matters here. More than any competitor at these Games, it appears Pascoe is striving to beat herself. So far ahead of the pack, that's all she can do to push herself.

Pascoe doesn't just win gold, she obliterates the field.

"I was in great spirits going into the final so to see the time (two minutes 27.72 seconds) and not come out with what I wanted is a bit disappointing but a win is a win. This was for New Zealand. I've got to recover now and come back on Monday.

"I know I've got a lot to improve to achieve what I want to in Tokyo. That's the beauty of sport. I may not have achieved exactly what I wanted to tonight; I got the gold, yes, but we've got a lot to work on and I'm hungry to do that."

Daniel Hunter was the only other Kiwi to make a splash on Saturday night, sneaking into the 100m freestyle final in eighth spot ahead of fellow Kiwis Matt Stanley and Sam Perry who both missed the cut.

Lewis Clareburt, surprise bronze medalist in the 400m individual medley on Friday night, could not repeat that feat in his 200m butterfly final. The 18-year-old Wellingtonian qualified sixth for the final but finished seventh in one minute 58.51 seconds.

Helena Gasson was sixth in her 50m butterfly semi, missing the final, while Jesse Reynolds (fourth) and Celyn Edwards (sixth) finished outside the medals in the 100m men's SB8 breaststroke final.