Lakeisha Patterson was one of Australia’s big medal hopes in the build-up to the World Para Swimming Championships.
“Lucky”, who learned to swim at Bribie and lives in Caboolture, was primed and ready for her fourth world championships, where she was in five events.
But just before the swimming program got under way in Maderia, she contracted COVID and was forced to isolate.
A member of the Belgravia team at Burpengary, Patterson was only able to swim her last event, the mixed 4x100m freestyle 34 points, finishing seventh.
Now in the Dolphins Australia Para Athletic Leadership Group, the reduced swimming program at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham saw Patterson in the 200m medley S10 where she was fifth in 2 minutes 42.25 seconds.
However, there was a golden lining to 2022. It came in Mexico when she won gold medals in the 400m freestyle and 200m medley at the last event of this year’s Citi Para Swimming World Series.
About Lakeisha Patterson
Lakeisha “Lucky” Patterson is still only 23, but she has been a mainstay of Australian Para swimming for more than eight years.
It has already been a long and medal-laden career for the swimmer who has epilepsy and cerebral palsy left hemiplegia (affecting the left-side of her body).
Lucky learned to swim from the age of three while living at Bribie Island to help muscle stiffness due to the cerebral palsy and improve water safety.
The Caboolture-resident started training at the Southern Cross Swimming Club in Scarborough and Bribie Island Aquatic Leisure Centre.
Progress was swift and at the age of 15 Lucky won a bronze medal in the women’s 100m freestyle S8 at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It was to be the first of many.
Gold followed in the 2015 World Championships, also at Glasgow, in the 4x100m freestyle replay 34 points as well as two more silver and a bronze medal.
Twelve months later, now training with Harley Connolly - first at Lawnton and now in Burpengary, Lucky collected Australia’s first gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, clocking 4 minutes 40.33 seconds – taking 0.11 seconds off the world record in the 400m freestyle S8.
She also won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points and silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle S8 as well as in the 4x100m medley relay 34 points.
Two golds and a bronze followed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and then a second World Championship gold in London when Lucky touched first in the women’s 400m S9.
At the COVID-delayed 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Lucky struck gold in the 400m freestyle, but this time in the S9 section, for swimmers categorised as less physically impaired.
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