Australian IPC Champs Team Includes 7 Rio Gold Medalists

Australia officially named its roster for this summer’s IPC World Championships this week, including 7 Paralympic gold medalists from 2016 on the 18-person roster.

That group includes Rachel Watson, Maddison Elliott, Lakeisha Patterson, Ellie Cole, Timothy Disken, Tiffany Thomas Kane and Brendan Hall. Their Rio gold events were as follows:

  • Watson: 50 free S4
  • Elliott: 50 free S8, 100 free S8
  • Patterson: 100 free S8
  • Cole: 100 back S9
  • Disken: 100 free S9
  • Kane: 100 breast SB6
  • Hall: 400 free S9

Full press release:

World beating Watson to lead magnificent seven into Paralympic world championships

Rio’s magnificent seven with Rachael Watson in world record-breaking form will again lead the Australian Paralympic swim team into the IPC World Championships in Mexico City in September-October.

Watson, Maddison Elliott, Lakeisha Patterson, Ellie Cole, Timothy Disken, Tiffany Thomas Kane and Brenden Hall, thrilled Australia with their gold medal swims at last year’s Rio Paralympics.

They will now be among 18 members of that team in the 20-strong Para Dolphins, named for the nine-day Championships.

They will be joined by two newcomers to the team in NSW pair,  12-year-old Jasmine Greenwood from the Bay and Basin Club in Jervis Bay and 19-year-old Abigal Lihou from Ferny Hills – who also set two new world best times during the week-long Championships.

Watson, who was only classified into the S4 wheelchair class last June wet to the Games as a real rookie and came out with gold and an new Olympic record in her pet event, the 50 metres freestyle.

But she has returned home to up her training under Chandler club coach Rob Hindmarsh at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre and build on her daily routines to smash two world records in one day, lowering her time to 37.87.

Swimming Australia’s Paralympic Program Manager Adam Pine is delighted with the way his athletes have returned from Rio and picked up just where they’ve left off and is full of praise for Watson.

”Rachael has demonstrated just what you can do if you work on your life skills as well as your swimming skills and that is just what she has done,” said Pine.

“To come where she has come from in less than 12 months is quite extraordinary and to see her improve since Rio is a real credit to her and her coach.

“Overall the return of these athletes has been great – I couldn’t be happier, especially with the team for Mexico capped at 20 and we have over 30 athletes who have met the qualifying standards.”

Australian Paralympic Dolphins Swim Team, IPC World Swimming Championships, Mexico City, Mexico, September 30-October 8:

Emily Beecroft (VIC)
Blake Cochrane (QLD)
Ellie Cole (QLD)
Rowan Crothers (QLD)
Katja Dedekind  (QLD)
Timothy Disken (VIC)
Maddison Elliott (NSW)
Jasmine, Greenwood (NSW)
Brenden Hall (QLD)
Timothy Hodge (NSW)
Braedan Jason (QLD)
Paige Leonhardt (QLD)
Matthew Levy (NSW)
Abigail Lihou, (NSW)
Monique Murphy (QLD)
Lakeisha Patterson (QLD)
Liam Schluter (QLD)
Madeleine Scott (VIC)
Tiffany Thomas Kane (NSW)
Rachael Watson (QLD)

Team Leader: Adam, Pine
Head Coach: Leigh, Nugent
Coaches: Harley Connolly (Lawnton), Nathan Doyle (USC Spartans), David, Heyden (UQ Swim)
Yuriy Vdovychenko (National Training Centre)


  1. ShonaD says:

    It also includes the following:

    Two S8 cheats very well known to the IPC – Elliott & Patterson
    One S6 Thomas-Kane who should have been classified prior to Rio as per the rules
    One S4 Watson who just reduced the S4 WR by 2s on no training – won’t be reviewed until 2019
    One S9 with GBS for two months which remarkably only affects her leg when wet
    One 12yr old with acquired brain damage who swims 13yr old able bodied breastroke National Age times
    One 16 year old who suffered from water on the brain and drufus from 5yrs old to suddenly developing Cerebral Palsy as a teenager

    One manager and one coach desperate to stay in employment.

    One IPC Organisation desperate for hand outs from Australia.

    What an absolutely embarrassing scandal Australia.

    • Aunt T says:

      Sour grapes? I think you parents need to take a good look at yourselves and realize you are jeopardizing your swimmers place on the team.

    • Interesting says:

      Why are you saying that Watson broke the record with no training? I don’t know her but where is your evidence to say she has apparently had a break and not trained? Sounds to me like she’s added more sessions. I don’t know. Someone who knows her should ask and then tell all. Will she have a carer like she did in Rio? Maybe she won’t make it to worlds after all as isn’t mexico of high atlitutude? Sounds too risky to take someone like Watson into an are with zika when possible relapse could happen. This sort of info regarding function of all athletes should be made public so that you and I know what they can and can’t do. Their classification assessment should be available for all to see to. Aren’t a few others up for review of classification this year or is that next year????

      • taa says:

        Elliott and Patterson are up for testing this year. Don’t worry nothing corrupt has ever happened in Mexico. My best guess is that Elliott stays an 8 and Patterson gets moved up to a 9. Elliott may be thinking ahead and intentionally not trying for peak form this year. some of her swims were not very close to her best this past week and Patterson I don’t think really cares but her 400fr would have won a gold medal as an S9

        Of course Watson is training as its not easy to drop 2 seconds in a 50 but also indicates there can be more drops hence why I comment she is in the wrong class as she could easily end up 5 seconds ahead of her competitors in a 50 which is too much

        • Abby says:

          I know on the other thread about Watson winning there’s a comment about her sitting on pool deck unsupported. I looked at the footage from this week and it would appear she sits with her hands back for support. I look up the classification assessment and they test core by if a swimmer can sit unsupported ie no hands. Trimi can sit unsupported and she does big pbs in 100 and 200 free plus very good at form strokes. So you’re saying Watson is in the wrong class but S5 up you need core. She might be reclassified this year with fellow Americans complaining and if she was and she got S4 again then surely that’s her function. Do you have a link to her classification swims from Berlin like someone put up the S8 ones? What about S5 Sarah Louise Rung. She smashes pbs and dominates that class. So where will the S8 girls be classified? Which country?

          • Sportygeek says:

            Classically, an S4 athlete with impairment of muscle power = little/no core or leg function, plus some hand weakness (eg a C8 complete quadriplegic), S5 = little/no core or leg function, with normal arms/hands (eg a high paraplegic).

        • Abby says:

          And what about American Leanne Smith?????

        • What about China!? says:

          Chinas JIAO CHENG another S4 swimmer did big pbs in Rio and took gold and she’s an S4!!!!! Maybe the S4s are getting faster like the S5s 6s etc. And so….

  2. ShonaD says:

    I can ask questions, do some research, write to IPC and comment freely on swim blogs. No one is going to be harmed by my actions. It’s called freedom of speech. Jeopardise team placements for ousting cheats? Yeah that’s a healthy culture in Australia. I wouldn’t wish that environment on any young person thank you very much. Surely if a swimmer swims the time, they’ve made the team? Obviously not in Australia according to Aunty T!

    Elliott swam like a burst mattress like she always does at National and State competitions. Compare her to Emma McKeown. She was at the top of her game. Elliott wasn’t, nowhere near, 17s slower in 400free. She’s now got her past results on paper heading into classification and that was her purpose at this meet. Job done.

    They have gone a step too far though with Lihou. Her classification affects Australias darling – or who should be their darling – amputee & cancer survivor Ellie Cole. Didn’t take Cowdrey long to point out Lihou may be moved up a class. Lihou and Pattersons dead legs when wet are identical, identical – and they have completely different impairments. Lihou GBS and Patterson PD, CP and Epilepsy. (If we believe any of it).

    Xavier Gonzalez is the biggest fool going. The Aussies, and worse his own staff, are taking him for a ride.

    • Mary says:

      Hello Shonad, whilst I think it is brave of you to voice your thoughts I would like to voice a few of mine from an impartial side.

      1. You say that you have done some research on all of the above swimmers. My question is, what information did you come up with and is it correct information not just word of mouth from other parties. Have you got medical evidence to back your complaints at all?
      2. No one is going to be harmed by your actions. By voicing your opinions, which yes is freedom of speech, I totally agree, but I would like to know what your thoughts would be if one or a few of these swimmers took legal action against you for things that were said. Not saying that this would happen but you would have to have pretty good evidence to back yourself. Maybe the fact that you go under an alias and not prepared to put your real name to comments shows that you are, what would they say………..gutless? in that you know you lack evidence and you are purely out to defame some people. (just my observation)

      Whether this is due to what has been referred to as sour grapes (as states above) only you know. What I have come to realize is this:
      You are obviously an Australian swimmer or parent who has an issue with the current team. The amount of information that you have quoted in regards to the recent competition is enough to show this. If there are issues with the classifications then this is up to Swimming Australia and the IPC to look into. I think it would be brave of you if you attached your name to your comments so that others, like myself, could take your information as credible.

      • ShonaD says:

        1) One does not need to be a swimmer – or a parent – to recognise fraudulent activity and to be completely abhorred by it.
        2) It is not difficult to follow swimmers activities and history, everything is on line these days. The Australian Swimming Championships were streamed over the Internet and broadcast on Channel7 live. Every stroke and step was recordable.
        3) Which swimmers do you suggest should sue for libel? The ones pretending to have CP or the one who once again swam like a burst mattress (18s over PB in 400fr) at a NATIONAL level competition in preparation for her impending reclassification? The truth is watertight defence against defamation.
        4) The information that I have researched and documented has been sent to the IPCs lawyers and is currently being considered. It is for them to determine what is and is not ‘credible’ evidence in proving IM, not you. I do not give two hoots whether or not you consider me ‘credible’.

        Occams Razor :- ‘The simplest explanation is always the most likely’. It is blatantly obvious that Australian swimmers and staff are cheating to win medals – simple. Gosh, there I go again – defaming!

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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