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Paralympics Final Day: Mary Fisher gold is NZ's 17th medal

09 Sep 2012
Mary Fisher gets gold and New Zealand's 17th

Wellington’s wizard in the pool, Mary Fisher produced some pure magic tonight, winning gold in the S11 200 m individual medley and rounding out the New Zealand 2012 campaign with 17 medals.

Sophie Pascoe added another silver medal to her collection of 3 golds, and two silvers she already has, while Daniel Sharp touched the wall in second place in the 100 m breaststroke to then be disqualified on technical grounds. New Zealand was able to mount a successful appeal to have his time reinstated.

Fisher swam the ultimate race, leading from start to finish ahead of the more fancied Daniela Schulte of Germany, who’d only set the world record a few hours earlier in her heat.

The 19 year old Kiwi adds the gold to the two silver medals and a bronze she’s already packed in her suitcase for the flight home, and now also owns the world record of 2:46.91.

“A gold medal and a world record in my final event, the final New Zealander to be competing at this event. I went out there and just put my best forward and I definitely can’t believe it at this point. There’s going to be a New Zealand national anthem playing and a world record for the medley,” smiled the surprised Kiwi.

Pascoe, who was swimming in possibly the most competitive discipline of the S10 class, produced a career best 1:19.28 to set an Oceania record and qualify second fastest for the S10 breaststroke final. She then returned to top that performance by swimming nearly a second better in the final in 1:18.30, just a shade off the winner from the Ukraine, Khrystyna Yurchenko in 1:17.81.

The Cantabrian emerged a hero from the pool, finishing no less than second in all 12 of her races. Six heats and six finals.

"I’m incredibly wrapped to finish the games off like that, my ultimate goal was to get on the podium and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve taken 2 seconds off my entry [to the games] time. I’m finished and had a great campaign and a successful one," said Pascoe, a mix of jubilation and relief.

Pascoe and bronze medallist Harriet Lee of Great Britain couldn’t be separated at the split, turning in 36:90, three hundredths of a second behind the eventual race winner.

“I just gave it hell for leather on the way back. I just wanted to hold on as much as I could and I did.”

While every one of her London medals are something to celebrate, Pascoe felt her gold on opening night set the wheels in motion for such an amazing run. “My 200 IM definitely was a great start to the meet, and I didn’t expect the time I saw up there on the board, and I guess I’ll be reflecting on that on the way home on the plane, just how well I’ve done.”

Daniel Sharp had an anxious 25 minute wait before the judges admitted they got it wrong, overturning his disqualification in the 100 m breaststroke.

Sharp was down and back in 1:06.72 knocking 2 seconds off his previous best.

“It was a bit stressful, I wasn’t overly nervous because I was confident I hadn’t done anything wrong, but yeah there was a wee while to wait to find out what the ruling they had down and then they had the wrong things and written the wrong thing down so we were able to put in a protest and get it overturned.”

“They had claimed that I had done a butterfly stroke before my pull-out [turn] but a stroke involves using the arms and I was still under the water, and the kick I did is part of our pull-out. I don’t know what the official was thinking but they had written the wrong thing down as well.”

New Zealand’s swim team banked 12 of New Zealand’s 17 medals.

Swimming
Sophie Pascoe - 3 Gold, 3 Silver
Mary Fisher - 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
Cameron Leslie - 1 Gold
Daniel Sharp - 1 Silver

Cycling
Phillipa Gray & Laura Thompson - 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze.
Fiona Southorn - 1 Bronze

Shooting
Michael Johnson - 1 Bronze

To view New Zealand's medal winners click here.

- Paralympics New Zealand


09 Sep 2012
Pascoe claims her 6th medal in London

Sophie Pascoe rounded out her 2012 Paralympic campaign with another silver medal to add to her 3 golds, and two silvers she’s already collected.

Swimming in possibly the most competitive discipline of the S10 class, the 19 year old produced a career best 1:19.28 to set an Oceania record and qualify second fastest for the final. She then returned to repeat the performance by swimming nearly a second better in the final in 1:18.30, just a shade off the winner from the Ukraine, Khrystyna Yurchenko in 1:17.81.

Pascoe felt things had gone to plan in the heat, and was ready for a drag race in her final night at the London Aquatics centre, “it's going to be quick, I’ve just got to go out there and give it everything I’ve got.”

The Cantabrian emerged a hero from the pool, finishing no less than second in all 12 of her races. Six heats and six finals.

"I’m incredibly wrapped to finish the games off like that, my ultimate goal was to get on the podium and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve taken 2 second off my entry [to the games] time. I’m finished and had a great campaign and a successful one," said Pascoe, a mix of jubilation and relief.

Pascoe and bronze medallist Harriet Lee of Great Britain couldn’t be separated at the split, turning in 36:90, three hundredths of a second behind the race winner.

“I just gave it hell for leather on the way back. I just wanted to hold on as much as I could and I did.”

While every one of her London medals are something to celebrate, Pascoe felt her gold on opening night set the wheels in motion for such an amazing run. “My 200 IM definitely was a great start to the meet, and I didn’t expect the time I saw up there on the board, and I guess I’ll be reflecting on that on the way home on the plane, just how well I’ve done.”

She also openly stated that swimming will continue to be her career for the foreseeable future.

“I’m still hungry for more, I love the competition, I love the feeling of what people pay to feel and that’s the adrenaline rush and I want to have that again.”

“You’ll see me back,” and turning silver into gold is also a massive driver to keep on trucking, “they’re PB’s in all of those silver races but, yeah, it makes me hungrier for more.”

- Paralympics New Zealand


09 Sep 2012
Tim Prendergast wraps up kiwi athletic campaign in London

Four Paralympic Games might not be enough to satisfy Kiwi middle distance runner Tim Prendergast.

The 33 year old finished 5th in his 800 m T13 final today in a personal best time of 1:55.85, and as the former Wellington College student gasped for air he announced that attending Rio is a strong possibility, but not likely to be on the track.

“I’ve placed more emphasis on the 1500 this year and not having the speed of a 25 year old Tim any more, I’m just not able to foot it with those guys any more."

The gold medal was won by Abdellatif Baka of Algeria, who’s 15 years Prendergast’s junior, in 1:53.01.

“I’m really liking the look of Para Tri [Paralympic Triathlon] which will be a new sport for Rio. I know I’m pretty strong over the 5 k and I can hopefully improve on my swimming and stuff, so now just looking to see if there’s any former athletes that want to be my guide and my pilot, certainly put your hands up, I’ll be keen to work with you towards a gold in Rio.”

Prendergast will also have his time taken up with things other than the track over the next few years, with the arrival of his first baby with wife Lisa due in March. But Prendergast says there will always be time for sport. “I know lots of athletes that have managed to strike that balance with a young one, and it might even add a little bit of inspiration and a new perspective on things going forward.“

All three medallists in the T13 800 m race finished within zero point 39 of a second of each other.

Prendergast intends on staying in the UK where he’s lived for the past 6 years with Lisa, and works as an inspirational speaker, but hasn’t ruled out returning to New Zealand in the near future.

Holly Robinson, who sat and watched Prendergast’s race summed up her debut Paralympic campaign as a massive learning experience and is committed to Rio also.

The 17 year old Javelin thrower said “speed work and more gym work between now and then will help me with where I need to get to.”

“We’re also looking at what other events in I can add to my programme.”

The now Mosgiel resident was named Westcoast Sportsperson of the year last weekend, and is hoping that can become a regular occurrence, “I’ve picked up 4 metres in a year training between school and to be in the medals I need to be around 40 metres so that should be achievable over the next 4 years.”

51 year old Peter Martin, who was also competing at his fourth Paralympic games said, “I would have liked a better result in my Javelin, but that’s competition, that’s why we do this."

Martin will take time out before deciding on his future. He finished 5th in the F52/53 shotput and 6th in the javelin.

- Paralympics New Zealand


ENDS

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