Paralympic golden girl Lakeisha Patterson set the Brisbane Aquatic Centre alight not once but twice last night with two world records at the Queensland Swimming Championships.
The 18-year-old from Lawnton set new world marks in both the 100m and 200m freestyle in her S8 category.
Patterson won six medals, including two gold, at the 2016 Paralympic Games and returned to Australia as one of the stars of the team.
She started the night with a surprise world record in the 100m freestyle, clocking 1:04.51 which bettered the previous world mark, set by another Rio golden girl Maddie Elliott, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
In an all-star field Patterson finished with the silver medal in the Multi-Class format with the gold and bronze medals also going to Rio gold medallists Rachael Watson (S4, Chandler) 1:27.12 and Ellie Cole (S9 USC Spartans) 1:03.97.
And then within an hour she chalked up world record number two, winning the 200m freestyle in fine style, clocking 2:16.04.
Patterson, one of the unsung heroes of Australian women’s sport, could not wipe the smile off her face.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic I can’t believe that it all came together in one night I’m really, really happy and really proud,” Patterson said.
“The 100m was a real surprise with a big personal best and to be able to swim this fast untapered is very pleasing.
“I’ve been training really hard and its great to see it all come together. The hard work doesn’t stop, we’ve still got a long road. But it’s really exciting and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Watson, who won 50m freestyle gold in Rio, admitted she “messed up her turn” but was looking forward to her specialist 50m event today.
“It is almost eight months to the day that I broke the world record in the 50m so I am looking forward to seeing how fast I can swim down the one lap – without the turn,” said Watson.
Cole, the six-time Paralympic Games gold medallist, is recovering from a broken foot and is happy to be back racing.
“I am training with a group of boys at USC Spartans and I’m loving it,” said Cole.
“They certainly keep me on my toes that’s for sure; it’s like a different ball game training with the boys.
“I am coming through rehabilitation and see the doctor this week and we will put a game plan together but between my coach Nathan Doyle and coach Chris Mooney they have mapped out a three year plan to Tokyo – Nathan and I have been together a long time and we are taking the partnership all the way to Tokyo in 2020 (and a fourth Paralympics).”
In other events, triple Paralympian Blake Cochrane (SB7 USC Spartans) continued his domination winning gold in his specialist Multi-Class 100m breaststroke in 1:19.96 touching ahead of fellow triple Paralympian, veteran Rick Pendleton (SB9 Brisbane Grammar) 1:09.62 and Jake Michel (SB14 Carina Leagues).
The four-time Paralympic medallist, who has won individual gold and silver in London and Rio will be gunning for a third Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“For the first time I’ll have two events to target too – the 200m individual medley as well as the 100m breaststroke,” said Cochrane, who is an intricate part of the USC Spartans super squad.
“The support network and coaching staff we have through the University is amazing and it’s a great environment to be in which is led by the coaches, Jan Cameron, Chris Mooney and Nathan Doyle.
“It’s a happy team and that makes for a fast team and that’s the kind of attitude we bring in; we meet together every week and discuss the best way forward, what we want to work on and what we want to accomplish; you cant beat that.
“Being in the pool with some of your best friends makes for a great environment and to swim fast.”
Former Port Macquarie Rio Paralympian Paige Leonhardt (SB9 Chandler) won her second gold medal of the week in the 100m breaststroke from Keira Stephens (SB9 Fraser Coast), Mei Ichinose (SB9 Japan) and Emily Schmidt (SB14 Australian Crawl).
And Paralympian Daniel Fox (S14, Chandler) won his second gold in two nights in the Multi-Class 100m freestyle in 54.49 from Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year Rowan Crothers (S10 Yeronga Park) 51.29 and Jack Ireland (S14 UQ Swim) 55.40.
By Swimming Australia