Paralympic relay gold medalist Matt Levy (AUS, S7) has dethroned 200m individual medley reigning champion Matthew Cowdrey to pick up his first gold medal at the Australian Swimming Championships at Sydney Olympic Park.
Touching the wall in 2:38.87 in the multi-class event, the Paralympian swam three and a half seconds faster than his time at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven that saw him win a bronze medal. Cowdrey (S9) followed closely in second (2:17.04) with Mitchell Kilduff (S14) picking up his fifth medal of the meet in third (2:24.00).
For Levy, the National Championships is the first step on the road to London 2012, as he kicks his third Paralympic campaign into gear.
“I’ve done personal bests in most of my events this week so it’s very pleasing to see that my training is paying off. The long term goal is obviously London so hopefully I’ll be at my peak next year,” said the 24-year-old.
“London will put on a really good show with the Paralympics; the English are very professional with their sport so it will be fun and a great opportunity to go and compete.”
In the women’s race Kayla Clarke (S14) retained her hold over the 200m individual medley and picked up her fifth national title, by storming home in a time of 2:35.80.
After cruising comfortably through the backstroke and butterfly legs, Clarke took the lead with her strong breaststroke before finishing well ahead of her competitors in the freestyle. Nerice Holland (S14) came in second (2:43.95) while Teigan Van Roosmalen (S13) posted the exact same time as her heat to claim third position (2:39.45).
Tomorrow is the final night of competition and will see Matthew Cowdrey go head to head with defending champion Mitchell Kilduff in the men’s 100m butterfly while Kayla Clarke will line up for her sixth race and sixth national title to complete a week of outstanding competition.