Swimmers scoop gold in the pool
Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, Minister for Sport Kate Lundy and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Jan McLucas today congratulated our Australian swimmers on setting new records in the pool to collect three gold medals on day two of the London Paralympic Games.
Australia collected two gold medals in backstroke events at the Aquatics Centre with veteran swimmer Matt Cowdrey successfully defending his Paralympic title in the men’s 100m backstroke S9 and Ellie Cole delivering an impressive performance to win the women’s 100m backstroke S9 final. Jacqui Freney continued the swimmer’s gold streak to win her second medal of the Games and claim victory in the Women’s 50m butterfly S7 final.
Matt set a new Paralympic record of 1:02.39 in the backstroke final to win his first gold medal of the London Games. Matt made a splash in the pool in his Parlaympic debut at the Athens Games in 2004 and since then he has amassed an impressive Paralympic record. He is now one of Australia’s most accomplished athletes having won 17 medals over three Games including 9 gold.
Matt is a superstar of the pool and a wonderful role model for all Australians. With several more events to compete in at these Games, Matt is well placed to race into the history books as our most successful Paralympian.
Ellie set a new Oceania record to win the final, clocking a time of 1:09.42 to collect gold. She dominated the race to clinch victory ahead of Great Britain’s Stephanie Millward.
Jacqui also delivered a fast swim to set a new Oceania record and claim victory by a margin of 0.87 seconds ahead of Canada’s Brianna Nelson. With Jacqui’s second gold medal win of the Games she has launched herself as one of our most promising swimmers.
The Gillard Government is working towards a future where all Australian children and adults with disability lead lives of dignity and opportunity.
We are providing $1 billion to deliver the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide Australians with a disability the care and support they need, when they need it.
The Australian Government has also provided strong funding to support our Paralympic Team, committing over $13.7 million in 2011-12 for the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and $2.7 million in Direct Athlete Support (DAS) to help Australia’s Paralympic athletes reach their potential.