Gold medallist Rachael Watson of Australia.
Gold medallist Rachael Watson of Australia. Buda Mendes

Watson has a rare victory in pool

SWIMMING: Rachael Watson has rounded off a successful Paralympics in the pool with a gold in the women's S4 50m freestyle.

The 24-year-old from Brisbane (pictured), who has cerebral palsy and motor neuropathy following Guilain-Barre Syndrome, became the first Australian Paralympic swimmer classed S5 or below, to win gold this millennium, setting a new Paralympic record of 40.13.

Watson's win meant the Aussies finished the swimming campaign with nine gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals.

Her win took the number of individual winners to seven, with Ellie Cole, Lakeisha Patterson, Maddison Elliott, Tiffany Thomas Kane, Tim Disken and Brenden Hall the other winners.

Watson said she was close to tears after the win. "I'm extremely overwhelmed and very excited,” she said.

"It was a really hard race, but to come away with a gold medal is absolutely amazing.

"It's the first race that I've done where someone has been that close.

"It was really good that I could see Miranda (Mexican's Miranda Herrera) and it just meant that I had to push it a bit harder, and I didn't even know when I touched the wall what position I came, but the fact that I won, when they told me was amazing.”



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