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More Times Clocked For The Tokyo Paralympics

After a strong performance on Wednesday in his longest event (200m Freestyle), Cameron Leslie today showed his speed in the 50m sprints posting Paralympic podium times and Tokyo 2020 qualifying standards in both the 50m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle S4. His times in tonight’s finals of 37.58 sec and 42.57 sec, respectively, were within fractions of a second of the times that won him double gold at the 2019 Para Swimming World Championships, showing that despite recent injury, Cameron has put Covid interruptions behind him.
Cameron was joined on the podium in the 50 m backstroke multi class by Lance Dustow (S14) and Benjamin Gould (S10), and in the 50 m freestyle multi class by David Beck and Ieuan Edwards (S9).

In the women’s equivalent events, Sophie Pascoe added a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games entry time in the 50m Freestyle, where she will have to race up a classification group in S10 compared to her own class of S9, due to the events included in the Games. While not quite reaching these heights tonight, Sophie is the world record holder for S9 50m Freestyle, and will go up against rivals with less impairment (S10) taking on the event in Tokyo.
Tupou Neiufi (S8) took the silver medal in the 50m Freestyle multi class, also posting an entry time for Tokyo, with fast-improving Gaby Smith (S10) in bronze. Tupou also claimed gold in the women’s 50m Backstroke multi class, with Gaby and Nia Wallace (S7) completing the podium.
In perhaps her marquee event, the 200 m Individual Medley, Sophie Pascoe made her first competitive appearance for 2 years, posting a time of 2:36.32 seconds, securing yet another Tokyo qualifying standard and push to the top of this year’s SM9 world rankings. With Sophie withdrawing from the final, it was Rio 2016 Paralympic Champion Nikita Howarth (SM7) who claimed the gold medal and also a Tokyo qualifying time in 3:06.27 min, with Ella Benn (SM9) and Gaby Smith (SM10) making up the podium.
Jesse Reynolds (SM9) took gold in the men’s 200 IM multi class, in a Tokyo entry time of 2:25.33 min, with David Beck breaking a NZ Record with a time of 2:35.48 seconds.

The venue went loud for the Men’s 200m Backstroke, which was an event we were looking forward to tonight. Pukekohe boys Andrew Jeffcoat and Zac Dell were top seeded along with North Shore’s Kane Follows, who took the win with 1:58.87 seconds. Jeffcoat came in second with a time of 2:01.14 and 17-year-old Sam Brown from Capital sneaked in to take third place setting a decent PB (2:03.60) ahead of Zac Dell (2.03.97).
The Olympic Qualification standard for this event is set at 1:57.50, the boys will have to swim slightly faster to make that time. They will have another opportunity next month at the Hamilton Qualification Meet, held from 29 – 30 May.
Lewis Clareburt was just short of the Olympic Qualification standard in the Men’s 200m Butterfly. He swam a personal best time of 1:57.24, which was .76 seconds off the time needed to qualify (1:56.48).
In his post race interview, Lewis said “I think the last ten meters of that 150 probably was the point where I just sneaked over that qualifying time, but yeah I felt good. It was pretty awesome having four Capital guys in there in one race, sort of sandwiched Wilrich from Coast – a bit of fun. Upset I didn’t get the time, but you got to move on.”


Morning sessions start at 11:10 am with evening finals sessions starting at 7:10 pm.

RESULTS: All results are available here.

VISION: All finals will be shown LIVE on Sky Sport 9, channel 59. Heats and finals are live-streamed and FREE to watch on the Sky Sport Next YouTube Page.
COVERAGE: There will be a daily wrap with highlights, results and images after final sessions. This will be shared on the website, via email and on social media.

PHOTOGRAPHY: All event photos are to be credited by BW Media.