2022 World Para Swimming Championships - Madeira, Portugal
Day one of the World Para Swimming Championships kicked off in style with Gaby Smith swimming a 3 second PB in the heats of the Women's 100m Breaststroke S9. Stopping the clock in 1:21.57 to break an U16 National Record and qualify for her first World Champs final in 5th place.
After this massive heats effort, Gaby found some extra speed for the final. Backing up with another excellent PB and breaking her own National Record from earlier in the day. Swimming 1:21.05 to place 6th in the Women's 100m Breaststroke S9 final.
After her stellar swims on day one, Gaby Smith was back in action on day two competing in the 200m S10 Individual Medley. Good things obviously come in three's for Gaby as she managed to take another whopping 3 seconds off her PB time to finish 6th in the final. Announcing herself as one to watch on the the World Stage Gaby is "extremely happy with the results so far and is excited to join the team for relay racing coming up soon"
Cameron Leslie's legend continues to grow after producing a dominant win in the Men's S4 100m Freestyle. Writing himself further into the record books, Cam touched the wall in 1:21.80 to claim another Oceania and New Zealand National Record. Speaking after the race Cameron had this to say:
"First race for NZ in over 2.5 years brought back a few emotions pre race. Grateful for the opportunity to do what I love again and for all the support after not attending Tokyo 2020. It was very satisfying to win gold in the 100m Free with a PB and know there's still room for improvement."
Day three was all about Nikita Howarth as she stormed home to win a silver medal in the SB7 100m Breaststroke. Stopping the clock in 1:33.45, Nikita finished narrowly outside of her own National Record after producing a swim to be exceptionally proud of.
It was also the first competition day for Lili-Fox Mason as she lined up alongside her Wharenui Swim Club teammate Gaby Smith in the Women's S10 400m Freestyle. Lili-Fox really stepped up to the occasion dropping an incredible 9 seconds off her PB time to place 7th. While Gaby Smith smashed her PB and Dame Sophie Pascoe's U16 National Record by 3 seconds. Swimming a sensational 5:01.75 to finish 5th.
Fresh off winning her silver medal on day three, Nikita Howarth was back in the water for the Women's S7 100m Backstroke. Backing up the massive effort from the day before, Nikita clocked a 1:29.19 to finish 6th place in the final.
Cameron Leslie was also in action again, this time in the Men's S4 50m Backstroke. Pushing himself to the limit from the start, Cam proved why he's one of the best athletes World Para Swimming has ever seen. Touching the wall in 42.54 to place second and win his second medal of this Championships!
All of the heats and finals sessions are available to watch live and free via the Paralympic Games Youtube channel:
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Coach: Mat Woofe
Club: Hamilton Aquatics
Events: - 50 Butterfly - 100 Breaststroke - 100 Backstroke
Follow Nikita on social media @nikita_howarth
Coach: Tom Onley
Club: Whangarei Swim Club
Events: - 50 Freestyle - 100 Freestyle - 50 Backstroke
Follow Cameron on social media @camtron1990