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Australia’s Para-Dolphins make swimming history at world championships in Portugal

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Australia’s Para-Dolphins have enjoyed a historic swim meet at the World Para Swimming Championships in Portugal, setting many of the Team Members up to be ready for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next month.

The 21-strong World Para Swimming Championship squad have swum their way into the history books, becoming the first-ever Australian travelling swim team where every eligible athlete will bring back a medal to Aussie soil.

The inspirational team secured seven gold, fifteen silver and nine bronze over the seven-day competition on the exotic island Madeira and finished seventh on the overall medal tally against the best in the world.

Headlining the final night of the Championship, Paige Leonhardt set a new Oceanic record in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S14 and bought home gold for her country, in a personal best time of 1:05.27.

As a result of the team’s campaign one World Record, Four Championship Records and three Oceanic Records were smashed as the team continued their strong form from last year’s Tokyo Paralympics, with these impressive results positioning the team in a dominant place for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next month.

 

COLE, PATTERSON AND LEVY AMONGST STARS OF THE POOL READY TO SPLASH AND DASH IN BIRMINGHAM

The first Australian Swimming Team Members have been selected as they prepare to take on the Commonwealth’s best swimmers in Birmingham.

Day 6

Experienced showed in Madeira, with Dolphin leader Katja Dedekind setting a new Oceanic Record and taking home Silver in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S13 Final to begin the night. The athlete leader swam her third event of the Championship in a personal best time of 4:34.68.

Timothy Hodge added to his medal haul this World Para Championships with a Bronze medal in the Men’s 100m Backstroke Final S9, with a time of 1:01.88.

The most ‘mature’ swimmer of the team Matthew Levy claimed Bronze in his second race of the night, swimming 1:24:36 in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB6 Final.

Rowan Crothers overcame Stefano Raimondi in the final sprint in the Men’s Freestyle S10 Final and bagged his second Gold at the Championship, in just 50.70 seconds.

Our Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay S14 team just missed out on Gold by 0.01 in the new event.

Great Britain put up a great fight as the Aussie team touched the wall in 4:09.03, claiming silver.

 

Day 5

It was Bronze for veteran Brenden Hall in the Men’s 400m Freestyle S9 Final with a time of 4:15.17.

The Queenslander showed true Aussie spirit, achieving a podium position after battling COVID-19 very recently and almost a decade on since setting the current World Record for the event.

Jasmine Greenwood added to her medal haul this World Championships, securing Silver in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S10 with a time of 1:08.11.

Col Pearse set a new Oceanic Record in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S10 Final, with a personal best time of 57.17 and securing Silver.

Rookie Alex Saffy took home his first International medal from the race, at his first International Championship, with a time of 58.20 and a Bronze.

Paralympian Rachael Watson claimed Silver in her main event of the Championships, the Women’s 50m Freestyle S4 in 39.03.

Katja Dedekind did her country proud, sprinting to Gold in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S13 Final in just 26.98 and setting a Championship Record.

It was then a golden closing for Australia as the Mixed 4x100m Medley 34pts Relay team became the best in the world in, touching the wall in 4:29.86.

Tim Hodge took hold of the race early, Keira Stephens and Emily Beecroft kept up the momentum, as the oldest member of the team Matt Levy stormed ahead to take the team to a Championship Record.

The new line-up proving this event is certainly one to watch in the lead-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Paris 2024 Paralympics.

 

Day 4

To start Night Four in Portugal Katja Dedekind claimed an Oceanic Record and a Silver medal in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S13 Final, in her first appearance at the World Para Swimming Champs. The talented leader touched the wall in 1:05.98, in a personal best time.

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson, came home 8th in the Men’s 50m Backstroke S3, as a part of his busy race schedule this week.

A strong second lap saw William Martin secure bronze in the in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S9 Final. He stormed home in 55.45 but Italian Simone Barlaam dominated from the start with a World Record time to claim gold.

Emily Beecroft continued her great form, securing Silver in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S9 Final from another outside lane. The USC Spartans athlete performed another personal best with a time of 1:03.35.

To close out the Australia’s campaign for the night, our 4×100 Mixed S14 Freestyle Relay team (Jack Ireland, Benjamin Hance, Ruby Storm and Madeleine McTernan) touched the wall just behind Great Britain, at a time of 3:48.36. It’s a promising start for the new line-up, who are ones to watch in the lead-up to Paris 2024.

 

Day 3

The Australian Para Dolphins achieved four silver medals from four finals on another successful night in Maderia, Portugal.

Jake Michel opened Australia’s night three finals campaign, bouncing back from his mentally challenging heat, to back up his Tokyo silver podium position in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB14 Final.

‘Big Red’ as he’s affectionally known touched the wall in 1:05.02 in a close finish for second place.

Hard work then paid off for Paige Leonhardt who moved into a podium position in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB14 after missing out on a medal in the same race at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Paige was all smiles after claiming silver with her time of 1:16.44.

William Martin secured silver as well, in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S9 Final with a time of 59.00, but it wasn’t enough for Will to defend his title with Italian Federico Morlacchi setting a new Championship Record, touching the wall at 58.29.

Emily Beecroft then surprised herself by taking home her first individual international medal in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S9 final. Emily touched the wall in a personal best time of 1:09.35, resulting in another silver medal.

 

Day 2

Para Dolphin Timothy Hodge has made swimming history overnight in Maderia, Portugal smashing his hero Matt Cowdrey’s 14-year Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM9 World Record, in front of a packed-out Funchal Swimming Pools Complex.

After qualifying and entering the final the fastest, the 21-year-old stormed home in just 2:13.43, leaving behind Frances’ Ugo Didier (2:15.74) and Italian Federico Morlacchi (2:20.99).

Earlier Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson secured bronze in Men’s150m Individual Medley SM3, with a time of 3:13.17. Despite originally being disqualified, his medal was reinstated after a successful team appeal.

Jasmine Greenwood then added bronze in the 200m Individual Medley SM10 Final to her medal haul this World Para Swimming Championship, touching the wall in 2.32.78.

Paralympian Cole Pearse then pulled off a personal best time (2:13.76) and improved on his Tokyo Paralympic performance, claiming silver in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM10 Final. In the same race rookie Alex Saffy also did a personal best time in his first International Final, touching the wall in seventh at 2:19.05.

Paralympic Gold Medallist Benjamin Hance then swam the fastest overseas race of his career, to become the World Championship Record Holder in the Men’s 100m Backstroke S14, claiming the race in just 57.34.

 

Day 1

Eight Para Dolphins have set night one of the World Para Swimming Championships Finals alight, with podium finishes in five of the six races featuring Australians on the world stage.

As the first Australian to race in the 2022 World Championships, Keira Stephens took out silver in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB9 final with a time of 1:17.77.

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson backed up his Tokyo Men’s 50m Breaststroke SB2 performance claiming silver in Maderia with a time of 1:03.58.

Ben Hance stormed home in 1:56.14 to take home Bronze in the Men’s 200m Freestyle S14 Final, with the Tokyo Gold medallist closely chased down by fellow Aussie Jack Ireland who touched the wall fourth in 1:56.77.

Rowan Crothers then claimed the first Gold for Australia at the World Championships, defending his Paralympic Men’s 50m Freestyle S10 Title from Tokyo, touching the wall in 23.51 and creating another iconic post-gold celebration.

Young-gun Jasmine Greenwood then finished the teams’ night one campaign, claiming bronze in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S10 Final with a personal best time of 28.37.

 

With thanks Swimming Australia.

 

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