Queensland teenage debutante Lakeisha Patterson has broken the world record by winning the first gold in the Paralympics 2016.
Patterson, 17, claimed first place in the women’s S8 400m freestyle swimming in world time record. She started from the 100m mark and completed successfully in 4 minutes and 40.33 seconds, which was 0.11 seconds less than the previously marked time by ex-winner American Jessica Long. Twelve-time gold medallist Long, however, managed to secure second place in the 2016 Games.
Patterson was an ex-Victorian but Queenslander at present. Her victory over a well-skilled swimmer who has been one of the best-ever swimmers has made the moment remarkable for Australians to cherish.
“I knew I had to attack and not let go. I knew she was right behind me,” Patterson said. “She has been my idol growing up and to race alongside her and to get past her is amazing… I felt quite bad. She has achieved so many things and I have come out of nowhere. I did not think my first Games would end up like this.”
The girl started swimming when she was merely a three-year-old. She began the journey not out of passion but as a physical therapy that was necessary to help her with cerebral palsy.
Another Australian who became a tough competitor in the game was Maddison Elliott, who grabbed the fourth spot by completing the race in 5:02:13.
Four-time Paralympian Long also praised the capabilities of Patterson. She said that her competitor did a great job. She also expressed her joy on winning the silver. “I had to overcome some injuries to compete, so it is a good result,” Wide World of Sports quoted Long as saying.
The performance of the Aussies in sports has been quite commendable in 2016. It was only Friday when para-cyclist Sue Powell won the first silver medal by winning the women’s 4km individual pursuit.