After cheering on his Aussie team-mates at the Tokyo Paralympics for more than a week, USC Spartans swimmer Blake Cochrane finally had his chance to shine at the Games last night.
And he did just that by winning bronze in his sole event in Tokyo – the SB7 100m breaststroke – in a time of 1:16.97, finishing behind Colombian Carlos Serrano Zarate (1:12.01) and Russian Egor Efrosinin (1:16.43).
Cochrane, 30, who was a late call-up to the Australian team, has now achieved the rare feat of winning medals across four Paralympics with a tally of five medals (two gold, two silver and one bronze).
Last night’s final was swum without any preliminary heats, with lanes allocated according to previous times. And the athletes finished pretty much to form.
But Cochrane, in lane 3, challenged his higher-ranked rivals throughout the race, taking an early lead, turning second at the 50m mark, and pushing Efrosinin all the way to the wall.
In a post-race interview, the USC Clinical Exercise Science graduate said it was the second-fastest time he had swum for 100m breaststroke in his career.
Ten USC-affiliated athletes are in the Australian Paralympic team and between them have won 10 medals so far. Results to date include:
Alistair Donohoe – silver in C5 4km individual pursuit; bronze in road cycling time trial; 9th in team sprint qualifying
- Ruby Storm – silver in S14 mixed 4x100m freestyle; bronze in S14 100m butterfly; 7th in S14 200m freestyle; 7th in S14 200m individual medley
- Ben Hance – silver in S14 mixed 4x100m freestyle; bronze in S14 100m butterfly
- Ellie Cole – silver in women’s 4x100m freestyle relay; 4th in S9 400m freestyle; 4th in S9 100m backstroke; 5th in S9 100m freestyle
- Katja Dedekind – bronze in S13 100m backstroke; bronze in S13 400m freestyle, 4th in S13 50m freestyle
- Keira Stephens – bronze in SB9 100m breaststroke; 9th fastest in S9 50m freestyle
- Blake Cochrane – bronze in SB7 100m breaststroke
- Braedan Jason – 4th in S13 400m freestyle; 5th in S12 100m freestyle
- Chris Bond in Australian wheelchair rugby team that finished 4th
- Hannah Dodd in Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team that finished 9th
Upcoming events for USC athletes are as follows (with all times in AEST):
Thursday 2 September
- Ben Hance in S14 100m backstroke heats from 11.05am, with final at 7.03pm
- Ruby Storm in S14 100m backstroke heats at 11.16am, with final at 7.10pm
- Keira Stephens and Ellie Cole in 4x100m medley relay final at 8.59pm
Friday 3 September
- Keira Stephens in 200m IM heats at 10.09am, with final at 6.07pm
- Braedan Jason in 100m butterfly heats at 11.16am, with final at 7.53pm
- Alistair Donohoe in cycling road race at 10.30am
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