Blake Cochrane competing for Australia. Photo: swimming.org.au

Blake Cochrane has been awarded a late call up to the Para-swimming team for the upcoming Tokyo Games.

Four-time Paralympic medallist Blake Cochrane has been added to the now 33-person strong Para-swimming Team for the Tokyo Paralympics.

Cochrane missed out on section for his fourth Paralympics due to COVID-19 restricting the number of athletes that could attend the Games.

Cochrane said the unknown had been tough but he is super excited and grateful to be attending the games.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions for me,” he said.

“I was at the Grand Prix event in Brisbane when I found out they had a spot for me.

“I was warming up to swim one of the last races I would for this year. They pulled me out of the pool and said ‘We just want to let you know we’ve got a spot for you’ and it was such a sense of relief.

“I was gunning for my fourth Games but had missed out because of restrictions on numbers. I was waiting for the process to unfold and had almost given up, but then to be told I was going to Tokyo, it’s just very exciting.”

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The London 2012 dual gold medallist will participate in his best event, the SB7 100 metres breaststroke in which he will look to win yet another medal at the Paralympics.

Despite the uncertainty Cochrane continued to train hard to keep helping his teammates.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to continue doing the work even when you don’t really know what’s going to happen,” he said.

“This year there have been so many uncertainties, so I just tried to be in the best possible position to swim as fast as I can, continue training in the hope that this news would come through, which it has.

“Apart from that, there are five other swimmers in my USC Spartans squad who made the Team so I felt it was my responsibility to continue training to help them and make sure their training standards didn’t drop.

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

Australian Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin welcome Cochrane’s addition to the team and believes his experience will only help in the teams quest for success.

“Blake’s won two gold and two silver medals at three Paralympics, he’s a hard-worker who knows what it takes to win,” McLoughlin said.

“I’m so pleased we’re able to add Blake to the squad for Tokyo and I know he’ll do everything possible to make the most of this chance.”

Swimming Australia’s General Manger of Paralympic Program, Adam Pine, was also delighted for Cochrane to be joining the team.

“Once again, we’re incredibly thankful to the International Paralympic Committee for reallocating another slot, this time for Blake.

“As a Dolphin leader and valued member of the team I’m delighted he will now get the opportunity to compete in Tokyo and pull on the green and gold at his fourth Paralympics.

“Our swim team is now complete and we’re looking forward to the next stage of our preparation as the Games draw near.”

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