Paralympics: Australia’s Brenden Hall Chasing Para Three-Peat in 400m Freestyle With A Touch Of Finesse

BRENDAN HALL AND TOM GALLAGHER
PRIMED FOR PARAS: Two-time Paralympic 400m freestyle champion Brenden Hall and Games debutant Thomas Gallagher will both be in action for Australia on Day One of the Games swimming in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Paralympics: Australia’s Brenden Hall Chasing Para Three-Peat in 400m Freestyle

Australia’s triple Paralympic gold medalist Brenden Hall will swap his “all guns blazing” attitude with “a touch of finesse” when he chases a slice of Games history in tomorrow’s opening swim session of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

The 28-year-old Queenslander, who goes into his fourth Games ranked number two in the world, will be aiming for this third consecutive gold medal in the opening event, the S9 400m freestyle.

Speedo Uniform Launch Brenden Hall (PA Comp)

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU: Brenden Hall is armed and dangerous as he lines up for his fourth Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Speedo Australia

And he will be joined by teammates, Games debutants Alex Tuckfield (NSW) and William Martin (QLD) who are currently ranked third and fourth respectively in this year’s rankings, with Frenchman Ugo Didier, the number one.

They will be among 16 members of the Australian Swim Team who will take to the blocks for the opening session at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre on Wednesday (10am AEST).

When asked about the differences in his approach when he debuted back in Beijing in 2008 to today in Tokyo 13 years later Hall didn’t hesitate, saying “I’m a lot older now and a lot wiser. I can’t go in guns blazing all the time like I used to back then. It’s a lot more like trying to look after the body and approach it with a little bit more finesse.”

And his thoughts on chasing gold number three in the 400m freestyle, Hall is adamant about one thing.

“I’m always one for a challenge, I love a challenge. If somebody tells me I can’t do this, my mentality is that I kind of like to stick it to them a little bit,” said Hall.

“I’m here to do the best I possibly can: if that means defending my title, so be it. I’ll take every opportunity I have got to do the best for myself and my country and my family back home. That’s what I’m here for.”

Hall is not only the defending two-time Olympic champion but also the world record holder at 4:09.93 set in 2013 and the Olympic record holder at 4:10.88 set in London in 2012.

And he believes the delayed of 12 months will give everyone a real chance.

“For us older ones it’s given us a little bit more opportunity to think about things, think about the proper processes we’re going to have to be doing…,” said Hall.

“I think it’s going to very evenly matched across the board and it will be exciting to see what happens but at the end of the day we are all in the same boat and we’re just really grateful for this opportunity to be here to represent our country.

“To have the opportunity to do something that we love and for us to bring joy and happiness to the rest of the world, to give them something to get behind for a little bit when we’re all really going through this tough time.”

LAKEISHA PATTERSON

LUCKY LANE SIX: Lakeisha “Lucky” Patterson will be chasing Paralympic gold in a new class in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

The corresponding event for the women, will see Australia’s 2019 World Para Champion Lakeisha ‘Lucky’ Patterson, featuring with Dolphin leader and decorated Paralympian, Ellie Cole.

Patterson secured the gold in Rio swimming as an S8, so she’ll be looking to snare the crown across two classifications.

Recording a time of 4:39.55 at the Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast in April, Patterson currently holds the fastest time of the year in the 400m free (S9), while Cole sits fourth in the world rankings.

After securing silver in the Men’s 100m Freestyle (S8) at the 2019 World Para Champs in London, Western Australia’s Ben Popham continues to display his talents in the event – breaking the Australian record for the S8 classification at the Australian Swimming Trials in June.

He has a personal best of 57.37, and will go-head-to-head with “The Golden” Greek Dimosthenis Michalentzakis, who beat Popham to the gold at the World Para Champs by just 0.2secs.

Making his debut appearance representing Australia, Ben Hance (QLD) will pull on his cap alongside Ricky Betar (NSW) and Liam Schluter (QLD) in the Men’s 100m Butterfly (S14).

In a very competitive field, the trio will be up for a challenge against their counterparts from Brazil, Japan, USA and Great Britain.

Also donning the green and gold for the first time in their careers will be former WA surf lifesaving ironman Thomas Gallagher (QLD) from the Queensland Gold Coast and Kirralee Hayes (QLD) , with Gallagher to line up in the Men’s 50m Freestyle (S10) and Hayes to feature in the Women’s 100m Butterfly (S13).

Other Australian swimmers in action on day one are:
Women’s 100m Butterfly (S14) – Ruby Storm (QLD) and Paige Leonhardt (QLD)
Men’s 50m Breaststroke (SB3) – Ahmed Kelly (VIC)
Men’s 50m Freestyle (S10) – Rowan Crothers (QLD)
Women’s 50m Freestyle (S10) – Keira Stephens (QLD)

AUSTRALIAN TV COVERAGE

Watch the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games live and free on Seven and 7plus from August 24-September 5

 

Thomas Gallagher and aus teram in tokyo

JOIN THE GREEN LINE: Aussie Dolphins with Thomas Gallagher (moustache) tuning up their preparations in Tokyo.

Photo Courtesy: Paralympic Australia.

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