Ellie Cole became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian as she added another medal to her incredible haul, taking her total to 17 after she claimed bronze in the women’s 4×100 metre Medley Relay – 34 points at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Thursday September 2.
On the final night of competition for the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder, Cole led out the team that included Keira Stephens, Emily Beecroft and 15-year-old Isabella Vincent against a quality field including favourites, the USA and World and Paralympic record holders, Great Britain.
Coles’ backstroke leg saw her keep up with the front runners to put Stephens into the pool in fourth place for the breaststroke leg. Stephens had won bronze in the 100-metre backstroke at the Tokyo Games and a great swim saw her made up a place to put Beecroft into the pool in third behind Spain and the RPC for the butterfly leg.
A superb swim from Beecroft saw the aussies move to second at the 250 metre mark and then move past the Spanish team to put the aussies into first place for the final 100 freestyle leg.
A courageous effort from the youngest member of the Australian team, Isabella Vincent saw her up against Ani Palian of the RPC and 400 metre freestyle gold medallist Morgan Stickney from the USA. Stickney’s blistering pace saw her move past both Vincent and Palian to claim gold for the USA in a time of 4:52.40 followed by silver for the RPC 4:55.55 and bronze for the aussies in a time of 4:55.70.
Earlier in the night 16-year-old NSWIS scholarship Jasmine Greenwood finished fourth in the women’s 100 metre backstroke S10 final, in a time of 1:10.34.
Greenwood has already won silver in the 100 metre butterfly earlier in the week and has another another chance for a medal when she contests the Women’s 200m Individual Medley S10 heats on Friday.
The opening race of the night saw fellow NSWIS scholarship holder Tim Hodge finish fifth in the Men’s 100 metre butterfly S9 Final in a time of 1:01.03.
Hodge was backing up from Wednesday night’s silver medal performance in the Men’s 200 metre Individual Medley -SM9 and was up against a quality field including fellow countryman and world record holder Will Martin (58.14)
Martin swam the perfect race coming home to claim gold and smash his own world record in a time of 57.19 and win his third gold medal of the meet.
The games continue for Hodge who will contest men’s 4x100m medley relay (34 pts) on Friday.