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Kiwis create Super Sunday in London

03 Sep 2012
Paralympics New Zealand Kiwi’s create Super Sunday in London

22-year old Cameron Leslie marched out to the starting blocks with Kiwi band six sixty beating in his ears, the lyrics sing “Rise up, rise up, baby you’re a revolution.” Cameron Leslie tonight stood up and became a revolution, defending the Paralympic gold medal he won four years ago in Beijing, and beat his own world record by just under 5 seconds.

Leslie’s time of 2:25.98 left the competition scrambling to cling to his wake with Martin Sanchez of Mexico the closest to Leslie, picking up the silver medal in 2:39.55.

“There’s no secret behind it, it’s just all hard work," admitted the Northland native, "that’s the time we’ve been going for for a long time and it’s bloody hugely satisfying to see it pull off like that.”

Leslie who’d only just climbed out of the water was deservedly impressed with his breaststroke, “we’ve been working hard on that breaststroke leg, I don’t know what the split was but I’m sure it will be exactly what we were going for.”

Leslie now not only holds the Paralympic and World records along with the Paralympics gold, but has successfully defended all three. By pushing the record so far out from the competition, they’re sure to stay in his possession for a very long time.

He also believes being aggressive right from the starters gun was the best way to achieve his goal. “The idea was to get out to a good lead and build on that lead, rather than consolidate like I have in the past."

“When you think of a four year campaign it’s a very long time and to come and win a gold medal and succeed in all your goals along the way, that’s special."

And if you didn’t know Mary Fisher’s name before, you definitely should now, the 19-year old from Wellington has been in three finals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and already has three medals to show for it.

Tonight Fisher backed up this mornings heroics of qualifying first fastest with a then Paralympic record in the 100m backstroke by claiming the silver medal in the final.

Fisher was just twelve hundredths of a second behind Rina Akiyama of Japan, who set a new Paralympic record of 1:19.50. Akiyama also holds the current world record.

Fisher swam 1:19.62, over a second quicker than she did this morning. “This morning I had a really really good heat swim and I couldn’t believe I qualified first for the final by three splits, but tonight I gave it everything I possibly could have. I’m really, really happy,” said the Wellingtonian as she dripped water beside the pool.

Fisher will enjoy 4 days off competition now before returning to her happy hunting ground in the longer distance of the SM11 women's 400m freestyle.

Aine Kelly-Costello finished 6th in the same final.

Phillipa Gray and Laura Thompson won New Zealand’s first track gold in the women’s individual B pursuit, setting a world record along the way. The southlanders also inked their name in the history books claiming the country’s first gold in the tandem discipline.

Michael Johnson latched onto a bronze in the R5 10m Air Rifle standing.

Danny McBride won his B final of the ASM 1x single sculls, coming from third to take the 7th spot overall.

So 4 medals today; 2 gold, 1 silver and a bronze to go with the 3 bronze, 2 gold and 2 silver medals that New Zealand already has, which puts them in 10th overall on the medal tally.

- Paralympics New Zealand


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