Australia lived up to the expectations of a massive home crowd, winning three of the four gold medals up for grabs on days three and four of the Para swimming programme at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Saturday night’s (7 April) events saw Timothy Disken claim his second gold medal of the Games and Australia’s fourth in Para swimming.
Disken added to his men’s 100m freestyle S9 crown with victory in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB8 as Australia completed a clean sweep of the podium.
A dominant display from the Rio 2016 gold medallist saw him post a time of 1:12.42, well clear of compatriots Timothy Hodge (1:15.80) and Blake Cochrane (1:18.75).
Disken started clear favourite for the race after posting a 1:13.87 in the heats, a long way in front of Hodge (1:17.02) and Cochrane (1:19.81).
On Sunday night (8 April), things got even better for the host nation when Jesse Aungles claimed victory in the men’s 200m individual medley SM8.
Aungles (2:30.77) edged out Cochrane (2:32.72) in a thrilling finish to go one better than his silver medal effort at Glasgow 2014.
Canadian Philippe Vachon grabbed the bronze with a 2:34.03.
Aungles set a fast time in the morning’s heat to be the top qualifier, finishing in 2:31.30, more than five seconds clear of Cochrane (2:36.43) and Vachon (2:38.34).
Australia also celebrated gold in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 through 19-year-old Lakeisha Patterson.
Patterson, an S8 athlete who claimed two gold medals at Rio 2016, captured an impressive victory in a time of 1:03.02, a personal best by almost a second.
England’s Alice Tai finished with silver in 1:03:07, while Patterson’s teammate and six-time Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Cole claimed with bronze with a 1:03:36.
Cole was the fastest into the final after a 1:03.98 in the heats, with another Australian in Emily Beecroft second in 1:04.64, while Patterson swam a 1:05.66, but managed to better that time by more than two-and-a-half seconds in the final.
New Zealand grabbed its first gold medal in the pool with the legendary Sophie Pascoe a class above in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10.
Pascoe flashed through the race in 2:27.72 to win by almost four seconds from Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (2:31.79), while Australia’s Katherine Downie came home for the bronze (2:31.89).
Rivard posted the best time in heat one with a 2:32.90, while Pascoe’s effort of 2:27.26 in the second of the heats was more than eight seconds faster than her nearest rival.
The Para swimming competition continues on Monday (9 April) with the men’s 50m freestyle S7 and women’s 100m breaststroke SM9.