Day two action from the Tokyo Aquatic Centre kicks off on Thursday morning when four members of the swim team take to the blocks, including three Rio Paralympians – Rachael Watson, Tim Disken and Katja Dedekind.
First to take her mark will be Queensland freestyle specialist, Watson (S4), who will compete in the Women’s 100m Freestyle (S5). With no 100m freestyle events for women on offer in the S4 classification, this race provides the 29-year-old an opportunity to have a hit-out in the competition pool in readiness for her main event – the Women’s 50m Freestyle (S4) on day nine. The ever-professional Watson – who is a Paralympic Record holder from Rio in the 50m free (S4) – took home bronze at the 2019 World Para Champs in the 100m S4 event, so let’s see what she can produce in the class above.
After diving into the comp pool for the first time yesterday in the Women’s 50m Freestyle (S10), Keira Stephens will be eager to return to the pool when she battles it out in her pet event, the Women’s 100m Breaststroke (SB9). Clocking a time of 1:18.16 at the Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships in April on the Gold Coast sees Stephens enter the race with the third fastest time of the year behind two of her Dutch competitors.
Peaking at the right time, dual Paralympian and Rio bronze medallist, Katja Dedekind, pulled out a personal best time in the Women’s 100m Backstroke (S13) at the Australian Swimming Trials. Clocking 1:07.16, that time will see her enter the event ranked fourth for times achieved this year.
Rounding out day two in the pool will be Tim ‘Disko’ Disken, who will dive in for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke (SB8). While not his main event, having a swim will prepare the 24-year-old for his part in the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay (34 points) which takes place on the final day of the swimming schedule. Training under Yuriy Vdovychenko at the AIS in Canberra, this mark’s Disken’s second Games after competing in Rio where he took home a trio of medals for his freestyle and individual medley events.