Fierce rivals in the pool but best mates out of the water, Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson and Ahmed Kelly headline today’s action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
In what has become an iconic race for the duo – the Men’s 150m Individual Medley (SM3) – Scooter and Kelly will once again go head-to-head for a place on the podium. At their last international meet, the 2019 World Para Champs, Kelly and Scooter both took home medals wit Kelly collecting silver and Scooter bronze. Looking to capitalise on his form, Scooter recorded a personal best at Trials in June, while Kelly holds the second fastest time this year which he clocked at the Para GP in July.
Matt Levy will make history when he begins his campaign on Saturday, becoming only the second Australian to compete in swimming at five Paralympic Games (2004-2020), alongside Kingsley Bugarin (1984-2000). The 34-year-old will take to the blocks in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB6.
Another athlete set to embark on their Tokyo campaign is young New South Wales athlete Jasmine Greenwood, who will line up in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S10. After putting in the hard yards at training, the 16-year-old clocked a personal best at the Para GP in Brisbane last month, recording 1:01.96 to see her currently hold the fifth fastest time of the year.
Taking to the pool for their second event of the Games – the Men’s 100m Freestyle S10 – will be newly crowned Paralympic champion in the 50m free, Rowan Crothers as well as Tom Gallagher, who made his first international final on night one. In what is set to be a fiercely competitive race, Crothers – who snared bronze at the most recent World Para Championships and is ranked in the top five – will be challenged by competitors from Ukraine and Italy. Gallagher recorded a personal best of 53.86 which ranks him in the top ten for times posted this year.
A dual Commonwealth Games medallist in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley (SM8), Jesse Aungles clocked a competitive time of 2:27.44 at Trials which places him among the top five times swum this year. Aungles claimed the bronze at the 2019 World Para Champs in this event behind the USA’s Robert Griswold and China’s Yang Guanglong who secured gold and silver, respectively.
For the first time the Paralympic Games will feature an S14 Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay (56 points). The team’s final composition will be decided later in the day but in the mix to swim will be Ben Hance, Ricky Betar, Liam Schluter, Ruby Storm and Madeleine McTernan.