Sophie Pascoe lived up to her standing as one of the big names in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team when she duly completed her golden double in tonight’s swimming session.
Pascoe, 25, won the Women’s SB9 100m breaststroke, though it turned into quite a contest. Pascoe led out strongly and it seemed as if she would win as she liked, but she faltered on the second lap and Australian Paige Leonhardt came at her strongly. In the end Pascoe was timed at 1min 18.09s, which was 0.72s ahead of the Australian.
It was her second gold medal of the Games, following her individual medley effort over the weekend. It was also the 150th Games gold medal won by New Zealand, a sequence which can be traced right back to 6-mile winner Billy Savidan at Hamilton, Ontario, in 1930.
Pascoe explained her stuttering finish as “just feeling numb in the legs a bit”.
“It’s a leg-dominant stroke. Obviously I had to use twice the amount of power in one leg, so it's just starting to sink in. It was tough. I'm going back to analyse with my coach about what I did.
“Tonight was about winning and the time was slower than in the morning, so it was a bit disappointing on my behalf because I obviously have to set myself very high expectations.
“I didn't expect what I did this morning but I'm just stoked to back up what I did four years ago.
“You set yourself such high expectations, you go out, you perform but there's always something to work on and the big picture is Tokyo [Olympics in 2020].”
In other action at the pool, New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter narrowly missed a spot in the men’s 50’s freestyle final. Hunter swam 22.34s, which placed him ninth. Countryman Sam Perry’s 23.13s placed him 16th. The fastest qualifier for the final was Englishman Ben Proud, with 21.30s.
And in the women’s 50m backstroke semi-finals, Bobbi Gichard swam 28.56s, which was the 10th-equal fastest.
Gold Coast 2018 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Dame Sophie Pascoe Daniel Hunter Bobbi Gichard Sam Perry