Australia dominate home waters to top medals tally

Timothy Hodge leads hosts with three gold medals at season-opener World Series in Melbourne 17 Feb 2020
A group of male swimmers jumping in the water for a backstroke race
Melbourne hosted for the second time the season-opener World Series with around 70 Para swimmers from 16 countries in action
ⒸMelbourne 2020 LOC
By World Para Swimming and Swimming Australia

Australia made the most of their home waters to top the medals table in the season opening World Para Swimming World Series that concluded on Sunday (16 February) at Melbourne Sports Centre – MSAC. 

Nineteen-year-old Timothy Hodge was responsible for three of Australia’s 16 gold medals, including a triple podium in the men’s 50m backstroke multi-class (30.08) alongside Rod Welsh and Harrison Vig.

“It’s a really good feeling to come out here, do some good times, produce some good swims and even better to get a couple of gold medals. It’s really important to get these things right heading into Tokyo,” said  Hodge. 

Hodge-Welsh-Vig was not the only Australian podium sweep. In the women’s 200m freestyle multi-class Madeleine McTernan (2:16.98) got her second medal in the Series  and shared the podium with Jade Lucy and Taylor Corry.

The Melbourne 2020  World Series had  multi-class races, where athletes from all classifications competed in the same event. 
The results were provided by the Multi-Class Point Score, based on the World Record times for each class, which gives a simplified way to measure and compare performances.

New blood, new gold for USA

After losing her vision in 2018, Anastasia Pagonis took part in her first Para swimming meet  in December. Melbourne was her World Series debut and a golden one.

Pagonis, popularly known as Tas, claimed two golds  to leave Australia as the biggest winner from the US team.

The first gold came on Friday, day one of competition, in the women’s 400m freestyle multi-class where she clocked 5:18.12. 

She took her second victory on Sunday in the women’s 200m individual medley  multi-class with a  time of 2:54.23.

USA Team was represented by eight athletes and finished with three golds, two silver and two bronzes. 

The narrowest win a Kiwi win 

New Zealand’s ten-time Paralympic champion  Sophie Pascoe took gold in the closest race of Melbourne 2020. 

She beat Australia’s Tiffany Thomas by just two points to win the women’s 50m breaststroke multi-class (36.05). New Zealand’s Nikita Howarth finished third.

Pascoe also bagged another gold in the women’s 50m backstroke. 

“Raced in four splash and dash races leaving with two golds, one silver and more to work on. It’s so good to be back racing again! Next up, Nationals in six weeks,” Pascoe posted on social media.

Howart in the women’s 100m breaststroke multi-class (1:33.81) and Cameron Leslie in the men’s 150m individual medley SM4 (2:37.76) were the other Kiwi winners in Australia.

The World Series now move to Europe with Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy hosting the competition from 27 February to 1 March.