Pearse set to take flight

30 August 2021

Victoria’s Col Pearse will make his Paralympic debut on day seven when he lines up in his pet event – the Men’s 100m Butterfly (S10). The 18-year-old – who is currently completing year 12 – set a new Australian Record at the Australian Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast in April, clocking a time of 58.08. On his first international outing Pearse exceeded his expectations and took home a bronze medal at the 2019 World Para Championships, so there’s no doubt he’ll be striving to make the final once again.

Having claimed silver medals as part of the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34 points), Ashleigh McConnell, Emily Beecroft and Ellie Cole will all return to the pool for the individual event – the Women’s 100m Freestyle (S9). The race marks Beecroft and McConnell’s first individual event of the program. All three athletes are currently ranked within the top ten, however in a highly competitive field it’s going to anyone’s race and definitely one to watch.

After competing in the Men’s 400m Freestyle (S13) on day three and placing fourth in the final, Braedan Jason will take to the blocks in the 100m Freestyle (S12). In a stacked field, Jason will be up against tough opposition from the Ukraine and Azerbaijan. With a seed time of 53.27 – which Jason clocked at the Australian Swimming Trials – it will see him enter the race ranked third fastest in the world for 2021.

Australia will have a trio of competitors in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley (S14), with birthday girl Ashley Van Rijswijk, Paige Leonhardt and Ruby Storm all getting ready to take their marks. Posting a time of 2:32.10 in April, Leonhardt currently sits second in the world rankings while Van Rijswijk – on her Games’ debut – also ranks in the top ten for times recorded this year. While for Storm – who picked up a bronze medal in the 100m fly – will benefit from the opportunity to once again race on the world stage.

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson will also feature in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke (SB2) on Tuesday. Scooter claimed a silver medal in this event at the 2019 World Para Champs behind his Mexican counterpart, Arnulfo Castorena. Recently recording a personal best time of 1:00.22, Scooter will be hoping to capitalise on his positive momentum after securing a bronze in the Men’s 150m Individual Medley SM3 on day four.

The team’s youngest athlete, Isabella Vincent – who claimed a silver medal at part of the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay on Sunday night – is also back in action, this time in the Women’s 100m Freestyle (S7). Currently ranked within the top ten, Vincent will grab the chance to race the best in the world and see what she can produce against strong international competition.

More swimmers in action on day seven:

Men’s 200m Individual Medley (S14) – Liam Schluter

Men’s 50m Freestyle (S7) – Matt Levy

Men’s 400m Freestyle (S8) – Ben Popham

Women’s 100m Freestyle (S10) – Jasmine Greenwood

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