The Aussie Dolphins added six medals to their growing tally on day four of the 2015 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, overnight, with Maddison Elliott and the prestigious women’s 4x100m freestyle 34 Points relay team both claiming gold.
After four days, the Australians have a total of 18 medals – six gold, five silver and seven bronze.
The relay team of Elliott, Ashleigh McConnell, Lakeisha Patterson and Ellie Cole dug deep to come from behind and take the win in 4:24.17 ahead of the USA (4:24.45), with Great Britain claiming bronze in 4:29.83, and Canada (4:35.05) placing fourth.
Earlier in the night, Elliott shaved 0.61 seconds off her previous world record set at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to win individual gold in the women’s 100m freestyle S8.
In the relay, it was McConnell who was first off the blocks, sitting in third place at the 50m mark before handing over to Patterson at the 100m point.
Patterson held the Dolphins in a strong medal position for Elliott, who completed the sixth lap in second place behind Great Britain.
Paralympic golden girl Cole then dived in and produced a barnstorming final leg to snatch the gold for Australia.
Cole, who hasn’t swum a relay since the London 2012 Paralympic Games said she was happy to see Australia continuing its success in the event.
“I haven’t swum a relay since the London Paralympics, where we really cemented ourselves as top medal contenders in this event, so it’s great to see that, as a country, we’re continuing that – and hopefully the momentum will flow through into the Rio Paralympics next year,” said Cole.
Elliott said that coming off the back of a previous event that night really stung, but was over the moon with the final result.
“We’ve all had other events tonight (17 July), but for me the last 50m really stung,” Elliott said.
“I was just thinking to myself, ‘Swim fast for the team and do them proud, so when I hand over the final leg to Ellie, we’re in a good spot’.
“I was really happy to finish my part of the race and see we were in second place for the final leg.”
Elliott’s individual gold came from the same lane in the same pool as the gold medal she won 12 months ago at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She added World Championships gold in a world record time of 1:04.71, ahead of the USA’s Jessica Long (1:06.95) in silver medal position, and teammate Patterson (1:08.05) in bronze.
Meanwhile, Matt Levy claimed his second silver medal for the meet in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7, clocking 2:38.12, before young gun Tiffany Thomas Kane continued her triumphant Worlds campaign with a bronze medal in the women’s 50m freestyle S6.
It was stroke-for-stroke until the final touch, with Thomas Kane breaking an Oceanian record in 34.73 behind the Ukrainian pair Yelyzaveta Mereshko, who broke the world record in 34.14, and Viktoriia Savtsova in 34.20.
In the women’s 50m freestyle S9 final, Cole glided to the finish line to win bronze in 29.61, behind Sarai Gascon (29.41) from Spain and Michelle Konkoly (29.45) from Team USA. McConnell wasn’t far behind, touching the wall in fourth place in a personal best time of 29.84.
In other events, Grant Patterson broke the Oceanian record in the men’s 50m freestyle S3, finishing the sprint in 52.60, and Timothy Disken (26.77) and Brenden Hall (26.79) placed fourth and fifth respectively in the men’s 50m freestyle S9.
The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships run from 13-19 July at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
By Swimming Australia