Golden end to World Para Swimming Championships

Published 10:00am 20 June 2022

Golden end to World Para Swimming Championships
Words by Kylie Knight

Burpengary-based swimmer Paige Leonhardt has wrapped up her World Para Swimming Championships’ campaign with two more medals across the weekend.

Leonhardt broke the Oceanic Record to win gold in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S14 final with a time of 1:05.27.

Great Britain’s Jessica Applegate was with her all the way in the first 50m, but Leonhardt broke away in the final stages of the race.

Applegate finished second with a time of 1:06.61. Great Britain’s Poppy Maskill finished third with a time of 1:07.27. Australia’s Ruby Storm was fourth.

Leonhardt was also part of the Mixed 4x100m S14 Medley Relay team which took silver with a time of 4:09.30.

It follows the Belgravia swimmer’s silver in the Women's 100m Breaststroke SB14 earlier in the meet.

The competition didn't go according to plan for fellow Belgravia swimmer Lakeisha Patterson, who was unable to compete in any of her events due to COVID-19.

Patterson’s only swim was in the heat of the 4x100 Mixed Freestyle Relay on the last day.

“It was tough physically and mentally, coming so far and training so incredibly hard to not be able to execute it. Not only for myself, but the team, family and support behind me,” she said on Facebook.

“As tough as the situation has been, I do believe God always has a purpose for the pain. And no matter what I know that I am not purely defined by my sport or success.

“Nevertheless, I am immensely proud of our Para Dolphins Australian swim team, and the outstanding performances showcased. For the first time, every member of the team medalled (excluding me- couldn’t race), which is extraordinary!

“The courage, unity, excellence and enjoyment displayed, showing Australia and the world, the possibilities you can achieve despite challenges is truly remarkable, and makes me humbled to be an Australian Dolphin.”

Fellow Belgravia swimmer Brenden Hall had his own battle with COVID ahead of the meet but was able to swim the Men’s 400m Freestyle S9 and claim bronze.

Golden end to World Para Swimming Championships
Lakeisha Patterson with her Belgravia teammate Brenden Hall, left, and coach Harley Connolly.

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