Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Bronze medal for Shaw on opening day of Tokyo Paralympics

Toni Shaw made a dream start to her campaign with bronze in the S9 400m freestyle final on the opening day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

World Champion for the event, Lakeisha Patterson (AUS), went hard from the off and looked to have the race wrapped up in the early stages. Zsofia Konkoly (HUN) left it to the 200m mark before making her move, and the two of them battled it out all the way to the wall. Patterson held on to take gold in 4:36.68 with Konkoly having to settle for silver in a new European Record time of 4:36.76, despite her back-end charge.

Shaw stuck to her own game plan, taking the touch in a new lifetime best of 4:39.32, and the 18-year-old was delighted with her performance. She said,

“I don’t know what to say, I’m just so happy right now. I just want to say hello to all my family and friends back home and the biggest thank you to them all because they are amazing.

“It’s definitely been a difficult journey for everyone over the last year and without the help and support of my coach and family, I wouldn’t be here. “I was so nervous before the race but my coach and my roommate helped me calm down, I’m now so excited for the rest of my races.”

At the prospect of standing on the Parlalympic podium, Shaw continued,

“I don’t think that it’s quite sunk in yet that I’ve got a medal. You can’t see under my mask, but I am smiling! I went into the race hoping for a PB, and that’s what I did, so I’m happy.”

“Those girls [who I was racing] are super-fast and super talented so I was just trying to hang onto them. I knew in the last 100m they were going to shoot off so I was just trying to stay with them the best I could.” 

For full details on all the ParalympicsGB swimmers, go to the British Swimming website.

The start lists, schedule and results can be found HERE.

Watch live coverage across Channel 4's platforms, including More4 and paralympics.channel4.com

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