Lakeisha Patterson is the fourth Australian to win gold on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, swimming in the S9 class of the Women’s 400m Freestyle finishing with a time of 4:36.68.
The Australians claimed both S9 400m Freestyle gold medals within 10 minutes of each other with Will Martin winning gold in the first race of the evening session.
Patterson entered the final as the second-ranked Australian, behind Ellie Cole from the slower of the two heats with Cole swimming with a time of 4:48.29 and Patterson finishing behind at 4:49.91.
However the final was a faster race with Patterson leading from early on and holding off her opponents until the very end, it wasn’t until the final turn that Hungary’s Zsofia Konkoly looked like catching her with the two battling in the last 50m for gold and it was all in the final stroke with Patterson claiming gold 0.08 seconds ahead of the Hungarian.
Great Britain’s Toni Shaw claimed Bronze ahead of Ellie Cole who finished the race in fourth.
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This was Patterson’s second individual Paralympic Gold Medal after she made a name for herself in Rio winning gold in the S8 400m Freestyle event, finishing the 2016 games with six medals for the games, four for individual events.
Patterson hasn’t just found success at the Paralympics, carving out a piece of history for herself at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018 and the World Para Swimming Championships in 2015 and 2019.
Notably, she’s dominated the 400m Freestyle having also won Gold in the S9 class at the 2019 Championships in London.
The Paralympics might not be over for the 22-year-old as she could be selected to swim in the relays later in the Games.
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