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Sports scientists expecting personal bests from Pascoe

University of Canterbury sports scientists expecting personal bests from Pascoe

July 27, 2014

New Zealand’s star para swimmer Sophie Pascoe is likely to win medals and achieve personal bests in her events at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next week, says her performance analyst and University of Canterbury bio-mechanics expert Matt Ingram.

Pascoe is competing in the 100m breaststroke tomorrow (NZ time) and the 200m individual medley on July 30 and Ingram, the university’s senior sports scientist, says she is in great form going into her events next week.

Pascoe has to date won five world Paralympic gold medals, three in world record time at last year's world championships in Montreal.

``I expect Sophie to medal in both events in the pool next week. I predict personal bests from her as she has been tracking very well in test-sets at the pre-Games training in Flagstaff, Arizona,’’ Ingram says.

``I’m just back from three and a half weeks in Flagstaff supporting the altitude training block sessions. My role in Flagstaff was quite varied, as I have a wide background in sport science I wear many hats covering refinement of technique and run strength and conditioning programme and strengthening exercises to keep her free of overuse injuries.

``I will be away again from August 3 supporting the Paralympics New Zealand team with biomechanical and race analysis support at their pinnacle event for the year, the Para Pan Pacific Championships at Pasadena, in the United States. At times I act as a buffer between coach and athlete to keep things moving toward the main objectives.

``Sophie is very experienced and knows how to perform on the world stage. Being a high performance athlete I know she was really looking forward to being part of the New Zealand swimming team immersed with abled body athletes such as by triple world championship medallist Lauren Boyle.’’

In the build up to Glasgow, Pascoe has been strengthening her back, shoulders and arms on the climbing wall at the University of Canterbury each week. For analysis they have been filming at Christchurch’s Jellie Park pool.

Each week this year, Ingram has helped Pascoe refine and develop her swimming technique. He films Pascoe using underwater cameras to provide feedback and analysis. He worked closely with her coach Roly Crichton to design the best build-up towards the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympics.

Ingram has been working Pascoe and her coach since before the Beijing Olympics. She was 13 years old when he first started working to develop her swimming technique.

Ingram is contracted out two days a week to High Performance Sport New Zealand where he works with professional athletes.

He has also supported another Games athlete, 800 metres runner Angie Smit, who is a University of Canterbury education student. Smit will run her 800 metres on the track later next week.

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