Rowan Crothers claimed gold in the Men's S10 100m Freestyle on day one of the Tokyo 2020

Rowan Crothers claimed gold in the Men's S10 100m Freestyle on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Photo: Paralympic Games - Twitter

It was Rowan Crothers' time to shine tonight with the 23-year-old winning gold in the Men's S10 50m Freestyle.

After finishing in sixth at Rio in 2016, Rowan Crothers can now call himself Paralympic Champion after he won gold for the Men’s S10 50m Freestyle beating Ukraine’s Maksym Krypak by 0.12 of a second.

It’s been a big day today with Crothers securing Australia’s third Paralympic Gold Medal in the pool and fifth overall, finishing with a time of 23.21.

The Australian swam in the first heat of the S10 50m Freestyle earlier today swimming well ahead of all of his competition and finishing with a time of 23.25, 0.64 ahead of Italy’s Stefano Raimondi but the real test was always going to be in the final.

Whilst Crothers’ victory can hardly be considered an upset after he qualified for the final with the fastest time, to dethrone Maksym Krypak who won the event in 2016, along with four additional Paralympic Gold Medals was always going to be quite the challenge.

The 23-year-old sat on World Record pace for the entirety of the race with a fast start off the blocks but was a fingertip shy of breaking Brazil’s André Brasil’s World and Paralympic Records by 0.05 of a second.

Fellow Australian Thomas Gallagher finished the final in fifth with a time of 24.16.

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The 23-year-old had only one individual gold medal at a major tournament prior to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, winning gold in the S10 100m Freestyle at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

However, he let the world know he was going to threaten to get himself on the podium in Tokyo when he took Bronze in the S10 50m and 100m freestyle events at the 2019 World Championships in London.

Reflecting on his win Crothers paid tribute to those that had helped him get to the Paralympics over the past five years.

“I have so many people back home who have done so much for me. I have the easiest job in the world, I just do what I’m told,” Crothers said.

“I’ve got my coaches, like Kay, Robbie [and] Toby, all my support crew from QAS, my psych, this massive community of people that are all there supporting me, to help me get to the top.

So this gold medal is not just mine, it’s all of their’s too.”

Crothers will be back in the pool on August 28 competing in heat three of the Men’s S10 100m Freestyle at 10:22am

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