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2012 Paralympics Day 3 - Pascoe and Fisher add to collection

02 Sep 2012
Swimming - Pascoe and Fisher add to their collection

Sophie Pascoe is half way there, three medals in three days and she’s not done yet.

The 19-year old blitzed the field in her 100m butterfly heat this morning with a world record time of 1:04.97 and returned tonight to be more dominant that ever, claiming gold in 1:04.43 and breaking her own world record.

Pascoe now needs just one more gold medal to equal the three golds and a silver she secured in Beijing four years ago, and has three more events up her sleeve.

If there was such a thing as a blip in a world record and gold medal winning performance it would have been the final touch, where it seemed an age before Pascoe stopped the clock. “I guess I just didn’t time it right and I guess it’s those little things, but obviously I got it just in time and got in there,” relays a relieved Pascoe. “Tonight was about racing the clock, and that’s what it is all the time when it comes down to racing, it’s about racing the time, you want to go out there and do a PB [personal best] that’s the goal, it’s not about the gold, it’s not about the silver or bronze it’s about going out there and doing a PB and if it gets you on that podium, that’s what you want."

Pascoe will have two days to freshen up before the back half of her competition, starting with the 100 m backstroke on Tuesday. This is another strong event for the leg amputee, giving her shoulders a chance to bring home another gold. “I would like to do a PB in that and see what I can show the crowd, it’s all about what we do on the day.”

Wellington's Mary Fisher continues to surprise in the pool, following last nights silver in the 100 metre freestyle the 19-year old added bronze to her collection in the 50 metre freestyle.

Cecilia Camellini won Fishers race in 30:94 and was the first woman to go under the 31 second mark, making Fisher's 31:67 personal best a real triumph in her first Paralympic Games. “We’ve been working on improving my stroke and times and it’s definitely paid off getting a PB and being right up there with world record holders and everyone that’s breaking world records," said an elated Fisher.

Tonight's other finalist Cameron Leslie also swam a personal best. Competing in an event he describes as a warm up to his main event [the 150 metre individual medley where he’s the defending champion and world record holder] he went a further two seconds better than his heat this morning finishing the 200 m freestyle in 2:54.27.

Fiona Southorn said she’s getting better with age, and today at the Velodrome she proved that again, setting a personal best in the women’s C5 500 m time trial.

“I never expected to be in the money but I just really, really wanted to crack that 42 [second mark].” Southorn was the 9th rider to go out of 14, and her 41.76 finish slid her into the silver medal spot, before the following rider knocked her down a peg and then eventually off the dais to finish up at 7th overall.

The personal best will give her team some extra hope for the team sprint tomorrow, where the 42-year old will become the first Kiwi women to ever ride in the team sprint. “I’m sure the boys will be very interested in hearing my time today, because I’m doing the first lap tomorrow,” said Southorn.

Australia is the only other country to feature a woman in their team.

Southorn will team up with Nathan Smith and Chris Ross in the event, but their current ranking, which is outside the top ten, doesn’t have them pegged for a medal.

The New Zealand Paralympic yachting team got underway today. The SKUD 18 pair of Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel secured two 9th placings on day 1 and Paul Francis in the 2.4 boat had a 14th and an 11th placing.

To view the Day 3 results click here.

- Paralympics New Zealand

02 Sep 2012
Midday wrap from London.

This morning’s pool session consisted in World record, Personal bests and hard graft for the Kiwis.


Sophie Pascoe’s love for butterfly shone through in her 100 metre heat this morning, rising to be the fastest qualifier in a time of 1:04.97, a massive 4.16 seconds ahead of the second fastest, Nina Ryabova from the Russian Federation and over a second and a half better than her previous best of 1:05.66.

Pascoe’s time also sets a new world record. The butterfly is one of the 19-year olds key events. Last night, following her silver medal in the shorter distance of the 50 metre freestyle, her excitement for what was to come today could hardly be contained. “I’m really looking forward to the 100 fly, I know what it’s going to take to get that gold and it’s just about doing the right preparation now for it.” Pascoe showed that her performance is on the button in the heat, now it’s just a case of replicating that in the final tonight.

Cameron Leslie slipped back into the 200 metre freestyle competition for the first time in two years, qualifying in fifth spot for tonights final with a personal best of 2:56.74. The Northland swimmer said he’s “hoping for a low two fifty [seconds] tonight so I can give the GB swimmer a run for his money.”

Winning silver last night in the 100m Freestyle gave Wellington's Mary Fisher a boost of confidence for the 50 m freestyle today, winning her heat and qualifying third fastest for the final. The 19-year old's also looking for improvement after what she described as “a little wiggle in the middle.”

Aine Kelly-Costello didn’t have the same fortune, finishing 17th over the three heats and missing out on the final in the same event. Daniel Sharp and Daniel Holt couldn’t quite hang with the pace set in their 50 metre freestyle heat, finishing 5th and 6th respectively and 10th and 13th overall.

Nikita Howarth set an Oceania record in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:33.48 and finished 9th overall.

A third place finish in the repecharge wasn’t enough for Waikato’s Danny McBride to edge his way through to the medal race in the ASMX1x single sculls at Eaton Dorney and he will now race in the B final tomorrow. The father of two completed the 500 metres in 5:05,one of the fastest times he’s been able to achieve in the past two years, “It’s certainly faster than he’s gone in New Zealand," said Coach Norm Charlton.

While a podium finish is no longer on offer for McBride, he says he still has plenty to row for, “It’s all about pride for me now, I just want to go out there and finish on a high, I really want that positive note to finish.”

Anthea Gunner gained what she described as an amazing amount of experience in the Greenwich dressage arena today, scoring 63.762 in her individual test and ending the day in 19th position. Making her debut at a major international competition Gunner feels “we’ve got what we came for so far, the whole team here are super happy, all I need to do now is try to get him [horse Huntingdale Incognito] to stop watching himself in the big TV screen and concentrate on what he’s doing.”

The 31-year old and her mount, who’s commonly known as Mask, for obvious reasons, will try to wow the judges on Monday [GMT] with a display of accuracy and fluidity in the musical test, where they will dance to a mix of Simon and Garfunkel.

Michael Johnson finished just zero point two of a point outside the medals in the Mixed R5 – 10 metre Air Rifle Prone- SH2. The Waiuku local shot 705.7, with silver and bronze claimed with 705.9 and the gold heading the way of Vasyl Kovalchuk of Ukraine in 706.4. Johnson will be back at the range tomorrow to compete in the 10 metre standing competition.

To view the Day 3 results click here.

- Paralympics New Zealand


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