Australia added four gold, six silver and six bronze medals to its tally on the final night of the 2019 World Para-swimming World Series in Melbourne.

In the first event of the night, the men’s 50m butterfly multi-class, Australians landed the trifecta. Finishing in a time of 27.75, Paralympian Joshua Alford (S14) won gold, while Nicholas Layton (S15) from Firbank Aquastars and Harrison Vig (S9) took home silver and bronze, respectively.

Meanwhile, after a breakout year in 2018, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Timothy Hodge (S9) claimed two gold medals for Australia in the men’s 50m backstroke multi-class and men’s 200m individual medley multi-class.

Recording a time of 30.27 in the breaststroke event, 18-year-old Hodge beat Rod Welsh (S10) from Yarra Plenty Swimming Club and Alford, and toppled Queenslander Liam Schluter (SM14) in the individual medley.

“I’m really happy,” Hodge said. “I went into this final just hoping for a decent time and I managed to get a small PB.

“It’s been great racing here. I’ve never actually raced in this outdoor pool before, so it’s been a great experience.

“Preparing for the next Paralympics, I’ll be working on the small stuff, like skills to try and perfect my individual race, and hopefully I’ll be fit and ready to go.”

Although Schluter (S14) fell short in the individual medley, he made up for it in the men’s 200m freestyle multi-class, adding a gold medal to his World Series tally. 19-year-old Jack Ireland (S14) won bronze in the same event.

One of Australia’s youngest elite Para-swimmers, 15-year-old Ruby Storm (S14), collected a silver medal in the women’s 200m freestyle multi-class, edging out compatriot Jade Lucy (S14), while Tiffany Thomas Kane (SM7) won silver in the women’s 200m individual medley multi-class, and Madeleine McTernan (S14) won bronze in the women’s 50m backstroke multi-class.

In the women’s 50m butterfly multi-class, four Aussies finished in the top five, with Paralympians Emily Beecroft (S9) and Taylor Corry (S14) winning silver and bronze medals, respectively. The duo fell shy of New Zealand’s Sophie Pasoce, who achieved a world record time (28.15), while their Australian teammates Madeleine Scott (S9) and Thomas Kane (S7) rounded out the top five.

All eight of tonight’s events were swum as multi-class races. This means that athletes from all classes competed in the same race, with the Para-swimmer who recorded the time closest to their class’ world record crowned the winner of that race.

Australia concluded the three-day series with nine gold, 15 silver and 14 bronze medals. Their next stop on the World Para-swimming World Series tour is Singapore in May.

By Swimming Australia
Posted: 17/02/2019