Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Cochrane’s medal-winning swim

Published 6:21pm 1 September 2021

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Cochrane’s medal-winning swim
Words by Kylie Knight

Former Scarborough swimmer Blake Cochrane has won his fourth consecutive SB7 100m Breaststroke medal tonight in the final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

The 30-year-old, who was at Southern Cross Swimming Club and now trains with the USC Spartan High Performance Squad earned himself a bronze in the event with a time of 1:16.97.

The medal adds to his collection of one gold and two silver in the same event, in his fourth Paralympic Games.

There were no heats ahead of tonight’s final, with world record holder Columbian Carlos Daniel Serrano Zarate favourite. He trailed Cochrane briefly after the start, but dominated well ahead of the turn and set a Paralympic record to win in a time of 1:12.01.

Russian Paralympic Committee swimmer Egor Efrosinin took silver with a time of 1:16.43 and Australia’s Jesse Aungles was fourth.

Before the Games, Cochrane told Moreton Daily he was hoping for a time of 1:16.00 but was just grateful for the opportunity to represent his country again.

He missed selection for the original 2020 Tokyo Paralympics squad, but was drafted in when Australia was given an additional team place.

“I’ve only done it once before in my career (1:16.91) and would like to step back on the podium again,” he said at the time.

Cochrane, who lived on the Redcliffe peninsula for 18 years and went to Southern Cross Catholic College, is part of a select group in Tokyo. Only 44 Australian athletes have competed in four Paralympics.

He returned with medals from the last three – silver in the SB7 100m breaststroke Beijing 2008; gold in SB7 100m Breaststroke and 4x100m Freestyle Relay at London 2012 silver SB8 100m Breaststroke Rio 2016.

“We are privileged to be able to represent the entire country and very aware that so many people cannot even go 5kms from home or travel overseas,” he said.

“Ultimately, I love the sport I do, I love being healthy and training, and everything that comes after that is just a bonus.”

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