High Five For Matthew Levy As Australia Names A 32-strong Paralympic Swim Team For Tokyo

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IT'S TOKYO TIME: Australia's 32-strong Paralympic Swim Team displaying their Qantas boarding passes. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Australia’s top Para-swimmers are set to write a new chapter in the Nation’s decorated sporting history at the Tokyo Paralympics with a 32-strong Team confirmed in Adelaide tonight.

The announcement made by Australian Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin came after five hard fought days of competition wound up at the Australian Trials at the SA Aquatic And Leisure Centre.

Fifteen debutants were named along with some of Australia’s most decorated Paralympic swimmers, led by North Sydney’s Levy, who at 34, is the most senior member of the team.

The seven-time medallist will prepare to compete at his fifth Paralympics, having started his Paralympic journey in Athens in 2004.

Joining Levy will be six-time gold medallist and winner of 15 Paralympic medals Ellie Cole, who becomes a four-time Paralympian.

Brenden Hall, who has won six Para-swimming medals including three gold, will be lining up for a third Games.

Joining the who’s who will be Lakeisha Patterson, winner of six medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics including two gold, and Tiffany Thomas Kane, who won four medals in Rio including one gold and defending S4 50m freestyle gold medallist Rachael Watson.

The youngest member of the Team is 15-year-old Norwood schoolgirl Isabella Vincent, who qualified in front of her home crowd in Adelaide.

Queensland lead the State count on 16, followed by NSW (8), Victoria (5), SA (2) and WA (1).

McLoughlin said: “What we know from previous Games is that swimming often sets the barometer for other sports in which we compete.

“In Rio, our 36 swimmers brought home 29 medals, including nine gold, an inspiring outcome that formed the foundation of Australia’s top-five finish at the Games.

“This particular group has faced a lot of adversity in the past year or so. Yet, through their resilience and desire, and with exemplary support from Swimming Australia, they will head to Japan as ready as they could possibly be to compete at their best.”

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said: “Any conversation about Australia’s incredibly proud history at the Paralympic Games will always include swimming.

“It’s one of our truly national sports and one in which generations of our Para-athletes have genuinely excelled.

“Since the first Paralympics, in Rome in 1960, Australian swimmers have won 420 medals, including 128 gold, 150 silver and 142 bronze. We sit fifth on the all-time gold medal tally in Para-swimming and third in total medals won, behind only Great Britain and the United States.

“It’s a remarkable record and when I look at the calibre of the swimmers we’ll have representing us in Tokyo, I have no doubt we’ll see a strong, cohesive and dedicated group of athletes giving everything they’ve got to make the nation proud, just as their predecessors did.”

And before the team was announced rookie Paralympian Benjamin Hance continued on his world record breaking spree as he eyed gold in Tokyo. Watch the world record and commentary by Jon Harker and Paralympian Anabelle Williams.

Setting a new world record in the men’s 100m backstroke Multi-Class, Hance (USC Spartans) posted a time of 57.56, improving the official world record he set on the Gold Coast at the Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships in April by 0.49 of a second.

In a successful night for the USC Spartan’s, Hance’s teammate Rio and now Tokyo Para star Katja Dedekind (S13), continued her exceptional form at the Trials, breaking another Australian record – this time in the women’s 100m backstroke Multi-Class, clocking 1:07.16.

NSW South Coast star Jasmine Greenwood (S10) wound up a successful night in the 100m backstroke for her classification with her time of 1:09.58.

The 2021 Paralympic Games start on August 24 and conclude on September 5.

Tokyo 2021 Australian Paralympic Swim Team 

  • Jesse Aungles, Marion, SA
  • Emily Beecroft, Traralgon, VIC
  • Ricky Betar, Auburn, NSW
  • Ellie Cole, Know Pymble, NSW
  • Rowan Crothers, Yeronga Park, QLD
  • Katja Dedekind, USC Spartans, QLD
  • Timothy Disken, PLC Aquatic, VIC
  • Tom Gallagher, Somerset, QLD
  • Jasmine Greenwood, Bay & Basin, NSW
  • Brenden Hall, Belgravia, QLD
  • Benjamin Hance, USC Spartans, QLD
  • Kirralee Hayes, Genesis Aquatics, QLD
  • Timothy Hodge, Auburn, NSW
  • Ahmed Kelly, Melbourne Vicentre, VIC
  • Paige Leonhardt, Uni of Queensland, QLD
  • Matthew Levy, North Sydney, NSW
  • William Martin, Nudgee, QLD
  • Ashleigh McConnell, Melbourne Vicentre, VIC
  • Maddie McTernan, St Hilda’s QLD,
  • Jake Michel, Carina Leagues, QLD
  • Lakeisha Patterson, Belgravia, QLD
  • Grant Patterson, Central Cairns, QLD
  • Col Pearse,  Kew, VIC
  • Ben Popham, Arena, WA
  • Liam Schluter, Kawana Waters, QLD
  • Keira Stephens, USC Spartans, QLD
  • Ruby Storm, USC Spartans, QLD
  • Tiffany Thomas Kane, Warringah Aquatic, NSW
  • Alexander Tuckfield, SLC Aquadot, NSW
  • Ashley Van Rijswijk, Wagga Wagga, NSW
  • Isabella Vincent, Norwood, SA
  • Rachael Watson, Chandler, QLD

 

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