Aussie Dedekind sets para-swim record

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Steve Larkin / AAP News

Australian para-swimmer Katja Dedekind has set a world record in winning the women’s 50m freestyle S13 gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Dedekind has delivered Australia’s sixth gold at the Birmingham pool, while¬†Chelsea Hodges and Elijah Winnington collected bronze medals on Saturday night.

Dedekind clocked 26.56 seconds, bettering the previous world benchmark of 26.67 set by Italian Carlotta Gilli in 2018.

Dedekind, who is blind in her right eye and has limited vision in her left, set the first swimming world record at the Birmingham Games.

Hodges (women’s 50m breaststroke) and Winnington (men’s 200m freestyle) had earlier claimed bronze medals.

A night after winning the 400m freestyle final, Winnington was wedged between England’s Olympic champion Tom Dean and Scotland’s Olympic silver medallist Duncan Scot.

Scot won the gold but Winnington rated his bronze swim as “in some respects” better than his 400m gold-medal winning race.

“Tom and Duncan are first and second at the Olympic Games, you can’t get two better freestylers in the world let alone the Commonwealth, so I was in great company,” Winnington said.

The 21-year-old¬†Hodges already has an Olympic gold, as part of Australia’s triumphant women’s 4x100m medley relay team at last year’s Tokyo Games.

But she almost quit swimming early this year amid dwindling desire.

“The last 12 months have been really hard for me, I really struggled to get back in the water after the Olympics,” Hodges said.

“So to be on this podium means the world.”

Three Australians were fastest in the women’s 50m freestyle but it wasn’t Emma McKeon topping the list.

Instead, Shayna Jack (24.33) was quickest into Sunday’s final followed by Meg Harris (24.41) and McKeon (24.51).

And Australian trio Zac Stubblety-Cook, Sam Williamson and Josh Yong all advanced into the final of the men’s 100m breaststroke.

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