It’s been an exceptional seven days of racing for the Australian Dolphins swim team at the 2015 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, with the final night of competition seeing the team take home a further seven medals, including another gold, to complete the competition with a total of 30 medals – including nine gold, eight silver and 13 bronze.
Head Coach Brendan Keogh praised the Dolphins, saying the team has had an exceptional World Championships, with the staging camp in Manchester, England, playing a vital role.
“We’ve had some phenomenal swims, our rookies have shown they’re prepared to step up in a pressured situation, and our experienced swimmers have led a group of athletes to gold medals and world records,” said Keogh.
“The race preparation we’ve had has played a huge part in this success. Spending 10 days in Manchester prior to Glasgow allowed the coaching group to form suitable race plans and fine-tune techniques.”
In a final showdown, Ellie Cole, Madeleine Scott, Maddison Elliott and Lakeisha Patterson displayed the kind of team spirit that has bonded this team together, winning silver in the women’s 4x100m medley 34 Points, after Elliott’s fourth individual gold earlier in the night.
Cole was first in the water, starting the team off with backstroke, before Scott took over, finishing the breaststroke leg with a lead on Great Britain, then came Elliott with the butterfly.
Taking the team home was Patterson, who stormed to the finish line for Australia, but – in a stroke-for-stroke finish – it was Great Britain (4:52.89) who edged out the Dolphins (4:53.88) to take the gold, with Russia taking third place in 4:56.66.
Cole spoke highly of the relay team, and congratulated the Dolphins on a successful week.
“We’ve really come together as a team over this past week, and to finish it off with the medley relay set the team spirit at an all-time high,” she said.
“Everyone has achieved a huge amount of success, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Aussie Dolphins.”
Defending world champion Elliott did not disappoint in the women’s 50m freestyle S8 final, reclaiming her title in 30.52.
Patterson finished a close second, nabbing the silver in 31.52, while Olesia Vladykina from Russia (31.65) won the bronze.
To conclude her World Championships campaign, Tiffany Thomas Kane walked away with her fourth medal of the meet, winning bronze in the women’s 100m freestyle S6.
Thomas Kane touched the wall in an Oceanian record time of 1:15.05 to grab the medal behind Ukrainian pair Yelyzaveta Mereshko, who broke the world record in 1:12.21, and Vikoriia Savtsova (1:14.44) with the bronze.
Taylor Corry had a glowing finish too, picking up the bronze medal in the women’s 100m backstroke S14 (1:09.52).
Tim Antalfy glided to the finish line in the men’s 100m butterfly S13, clocking 57.58 to take home the bronze medal behind Ihar Boki (BLR), who picked up his sixth gold medal for the meet in a world record time of 54.44. Russian Roman Makarov (57.52) secured the silver, while Dolphins rookie Braedan Jason finished in 59.80, claiming seventh overall.
Ending their first World Championships with a bang, Guy Harrison-Murray broke the Oceanian record in the men’s 400m freestyle S10, touching the wall in 4:18.30, while Monique Murphy shaved 0.35 seconds off her personal best time, finishing the women’s 400m freestyle S10 in 4:43.24 to take sixth place.
With over 12 years’ experience on the Dolphins team, Matt Levy showed no signs of slowing down, as he swiftly made his way to the wall to collect bronze in the men’s 50m freestyle S7 in 28.71.
In the men’s 200m individual medley SM9, Brenden Hall finished in 2:25.97, placing sixth.
Blake Cochrane ranks fifth in the world in the men’s 50m freestyle S8 after finishing in 27.79, while Scott (2:40.50) shaved milliseconds off her personal best time in the women’s 200m individual medley SM9 to finish in a close fourth behind Ireland’s Ellen Keane, whoclinched bronze in 2:40.31.
Prue Watt stepped onto the blocks for the women’s 100m butterfly S13 final, finishing in seventh place with a time of 1:10.60. Daniel Fox (1:06.22) was up next in the men’s 100m backstroke S14, and touched the wall in eighth place.
The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships ran from 13-19 July at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, with over 550 athletes competing from nearly 70 countries. The Dolphins swam 47 personal best times, 75 season bests, and set three new world records.
By Swimming Australia