Paige medals at world titles

Published 10:00am 3 August 2023

Paige medals at world titles
Words by Nick Crockford

Former Burpengary swimmer Paige Leonhardt was on the Para World Championship podium last night after winning a bronze medal in Manchester.

The 22-year-old produced a season’s best of 1 minute 16.50 seconds to take third place in the Women’s 100m breaststroke S14 final.

It was more than a second faster than her heat swim of 1:17.85 and goes with her silver medal in the same event at the 2022 world titles in Madeira.

Leonhardt was on the Belgravia team at Burpengary Regional Aquatic Centre but moved with coach Harley Connolly to the Paralympic Hub at USC last year.

“A little disappointed with my time knowing I’ve done a lot of hard work in training,” Leonhardt said, “but I am on the podium and it’s another medal for Australia.

“The good outweighs the bad, being on the podium, so whatever critique or technical things I have I can go back and speak to my coach and we’ll work on them leading into Paris.

“Having (Bribie-based coach) Harley here is really good for me. We do so much in training and the relationship coach/athlete is very strong.

Paige Leonhardt who struck gold in the mixed medley relay. Picture Delly Carr

“He’s a really good coach. Someone who’s strict and wants to get the best out of you all the time. But at the same time he’s so funny, down-to-earth and chilled.”

“He’s a massive role model in my career.”

Sunshine Coast teammate Brenden Hall, on the Dolphins team for 15 years, finished seventh in his first race of the meet, the Men’s 100m Butterfly S9.

Hall, who lives in Mango Hill and trained at Redcliffe, Lawnton and Burpengary, clocked time of 1:02.71 after swimming his heat in 1:03.34.

In Monday's opening night program, Leonhardt clocked 2:19.31 but missed the final of the women’s 200m freestyle S14.

Tuesday saw Lakeisha Patterson, who learned to swim at Bribie and lives in Caboolture, reach the final of the women’s 200m medley SM9 in 2:43.49.

But Lucky, who is also at the Paralympic Hub on the Sunshine Coast, was slightly down in the final, stopping the clock at 2:43.82 and missing the medals.

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