Published: Sep 1, 2012 09:11:56 PM Updated: Nov 13, 2012 12:10:38 PM
World record holder Blake Cochrane will swim for gold and a world record tonight in the final of the men’s 100m breaststroke (SB7) after winning his heat by more than two body lengths in a new Paralympic Record time of 1:20.76 this morning.
The world champion, Para Pan Pac Champion and silver medallist from Beijing, Cochrane will be up against Paralympic Champion Sascha Kindred from Great Britain in tonight’s final, and says he’s looking forward to challenge of racing in front of such a big crowd.
“Since Beijing I’ve been the title holder for the event through 2009 to now, so I’ve never come in as a favourite to a Paralympic Games, so it is a little bit of a daunting feeling and especially this morning I was a little bit nervous,” said Cochrane.
“But I sort of look at it as though everyone wants to be in this position so I want to maintain this position so to come away with a gold that’s the goal that I’ve got.
“It’s going to be very loud tonight and Sascha Kindred has obviously dominated this event for the last three Paralympic Games and he’s definitely going to be in there with a chance with this crowd behind him, and I think it’s going to be loud.”
Cochrane’s Aussie teammate Matt Levy will go in to the race as the third fastest qualifier after hitting the wall in 1:23.09.
Swimming breaststroke for the first time at a Paralympic Games, Matt Cowdrey has set himself the challenge of taking it to the world record holder Andriy Kalyna in the final of tonight’s men’s 100m breaststroke (SB8).
With a three second gap between Cowdrey’s PB and Kalyna’s world record, the Aussie wants to try and stick with him as much as possible and see how the Ukraine swimmer responds to a bit of pressure. Cowdrey qualified third in 1:11.53, while Kalyna hit the wall in 1:08.27.
“I wanted to get a lane next to Andriy tonight so I could just try and stick with him and then see what happens over the back end,” said Cowdrey.
“He’s a world class swimmer so I’m sure he’ll be able to deal with the pressure, but this is the first time that I’ve swum breaststroke at a Games and I’m just looking forward to having a good crack tonight.”
Picking up a bronze medal in the men’s 100m butterfly (S13) last night, Tim Antalfy was back in the water for the 50m freestyle qualifying second fastest for tonight’s final in a time of 24.33. Having miss judged his turn in the 100m fly last night, Antalfy said he was happy to have a 50 this morning and not have to worry about the turn. Sean Russo finished in 25.48 to qualify 11th overall.
“I just wanted to get a good start, a good breakout and then just go as hard as I could. I also didn’t have to worry about a turn this morning so that was good,” said Antalfy.
In the women’s 50m freestyle (S13) Pru Watt showed she’ll be a force in tonight’s final qualifying second overall in a time of 27.75, while Teigan van Roosmalen will go through as the sixth fastest qualifier in 29.40.
Katherine Downie will swim in her third final in as many days tonight when she takes on world record holder Sophie Pascoe from New Zealand in the women’s 100m butterfly (S10). Downie qualified fourth fastest overall with a time of 1:11.37, while Pascoe broke her own world record by more than half a second to win her heat in 1:04.97
The men’s 100m butterfly (S10) will see Andrew Pasterfield swim in his second final after qualifying seventh in a time of 59.47, just off his personal best of 59.19. A bronze medallist in the 200m IM on night one, Rick Pendleton finished 14th overall in 1:01.30.
Seventeen-year-old Reagen Wickens will swim in his first final of the Paralympic Games qualifying fourth fastest for the men’s 400m freestyle (S6). Wickens finished in 5:28.56, just five seconds outside his personal best in a strong heat swim, and will need to work hard if he’s to challenge Matthew Whorwood from Great Britain for a medal tonight.
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