2019 World Para Swimming Championships Day 1: Pascoe wins 9th World Title and Personal Best for McLean
Sophie Pascoe has claimed another World Championships title with a dominant swim in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S9 at the World Para Swimming Championship in London.
The Christchurch swimmer turned in 28.86 seconds, before stretching even further ahead of her competition to touch the wall in one-minute point two zero, over two and a half seconds ahead of Spain’s Sara Gascon in second place.
‘I think it’s really exciting to kick start it off with a gold, I definitely would have like to have sub-minuted again, but it was a gold medal swim, I gave it everything and just really stoked to start the meet off like that’.
‘It’s one of the best venues I’ve ever swam in, as soon as I had my first warm up the other day it was how it felt 7 years ago so it hasn’t changed, it’s a fast pool, the complex is great, the atmosphere is great and the people are awesome, it’s great to be back here with the New Zealand team.’
The win marks Pascoes 9th World Title and will now go on to try and do the same in the 100m Backstroke tomorrow followed by one of her key events the 100m Butterfly and then finishing off with the ‘splash and dash’ the 50m Freestyle.
‘I’m really looking forward to my meet, I have watered down my programme for a lot of reasons, but it’s about focusing on Tokyo and getting the slots here at world championships for those events.’
The win also ensures the Paralympics spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Pascoe holds the World Record time of 59.78 seconds, which she set in Auckland in June.
After setting a personal best in the morning’s heat, Hamish McLean then returned to the pool to swipe a further four seconds off the PB he set back at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. His time of 5 minutes 22 flat in the S6 400 free is also an Oceania Record. ‘Happy with the time, it’s a PB and what I came here to do’ said McLean. ‘I’m happy with the race and looking forward to the rest of the week.’ Which will see the Wanaka swimmer compete in the 100m Freestyle.
Following the morning’s heat McLean said, ‘It was good fun, I was a bit stressed beforehand, but once I got in it was good and I felt good.’
Christchurch’s Celyn Edwards had the honour of being the Flag Bearer for the New Zealand team at the London Aquatics Centre, the same venue where the London 2012 Paralympics were held.
Paralympics New Zealand Swimming Programme Leader Graeme Maw said, ‘It was a pretty good start’ to the competition, with Chris Arbuthnott and Jesse Reynolds also swimming very close to their personal bests in what was described as a ‘slow morning right across the nations.’