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Aussie Paralympic pool dominance continues

Sport

Australia's most decorated Paralympian Matthew Cowdrey may have retired but the men's S9 100m freestyle title remains in Aussie hands for a fourth straight Games thanks to teenage rookie Timothy Disken.

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The 19-year-old surged home to win gold in Rio this morning, continuing the legacy of Cowdrey, who won the event in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and then London 2012.

The Victorian dominated the last 20 metres as he triumphed from teammate Brenden Hall who took silver.

“It’s fantastic to go one-two, especially for Junior (Hall) to go his fastest time since world champs.” Disken said.

“I looked up to him when I first started para-swimming. We pushed each other hard in this race, and I’m over the moon with that.”

Ellie Cole was unable to retain the title in the corresponding women’s event, taking bronze while America’s Michelle Konkoly won gold with a world record.

Cole, the world champion, said she was pleased to make the podium having had two years away from the pool for shoulder operations.

The three-time Paralympian said equality for people with impairments was improving dramatically with each Games.

“Being part of a minority with disabilities and being part of a minority as a woman really made me angry,” she said.

“Four years ago I had a gentleman say it’s good to see me outside. It’s funny how quickly perceptions change.”

Australia’s fourth swimming medal of the day went to 15-year-old Tiffany Thomas-Kane who was elevated from fourth to bronze due to a disqualification.

In athletics, Games first-timer Brayden Davidson won gold in the men’s T36 long jump, while 19-year-old wheelchair racer Rheed McCracken secured back-to-back Paralympic silvers in the men’s T34 100m.

And table tennis debutant Sam Von Einem scored Australia’s first Paralympic medal in the sport in 32 years, claiming silver in the men’s singles.

After five days Australia sits sixth on the medal table with seven gold – the same amount as New Zealand – 13 silver and 14 bronze.

That’s well behind China, which leads with 50 gold from Great Britain’s 28 and and Ukraine’s 22.

-AAP

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