Commonwealth Countdown: Pascoe Back To Breast In Women’s Para-Events


  • Thursday, April 5th – Tuesday, April 10th (swimming)
  • Optus Aquatic Centre, Gold Coast, Australia
  • Prelims at 10:30am local (8:30pm previous night EDT)
  • Finals at 7:30pm local (5:30am EDT)
  • Official Commonwealth Games website
  • Entries

The Commonwealth Games will feature a dozen para-events with a pretty good – if small – field of some of the world’s top Paralympians. Here’s a look at the events included on the entry lists:

  • Women’s S8 50 free
  • Women’s S9 100 free
  • Women’s S9 100 back
  • Women’s SB9 100 breast
  • Women’s S7 50 fly
  • Women’s SM10 200 IM
  • Men’s S7 50 free
  • Men’s S9 100 free
  • Men’s S14 200 free
  • Men’s S9 100 back
  • Men’s SB8 100 breast
  • Men’s SM8 200 IM

Rio silver medalist Lakeisha Patterson is the odds-on favorite in the women’s 50 free S8. She’s got the world’s top time after Rio gold medalist and Aussie teammate Maddison Elliott was reclassified to S9 last year. Patterson is about eight tenths off of Elliott’s world record in that event. Patterson will also swim the 100 free, though that’s technically an S9 event. She’s the world record-holder for S8 and one of three S8s swimming that race on the Gold Coast.

In that S9 100 free, Ellie Cole should be the early frontrunner. The Australian was the bronze medalist in Rio and is the current world leader by more than a second.

Perhaps the race of the meet will be in the S9 100 back, where Cole will take on Great Britain’s Alice Tai, competing for England at Commonwealths. Cole won the 2016 Paralympic gold with a 1:09.18, but Tai has since surged onto the scene, breaking the world record with a 1:07.66 in 2017. Neither has been better than 1:09.4 this season, but if both are on their game, it could be an extremely hard-fought battle for gold.

Another defending Paralympic champ is New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe in the SM10 200 IM. Pascoe blew out the Rio field with a 2:24.90 that still holds up as the world record. Pascoe doesn’t have a time appearing on the IPC World Rankings list for this event, but no other swimmer has been under 2:31, meaning Pascoe should be the heavy favorite.

The S7 50 fly will see a rematch of now-reclassified rivals. England’s Eleanor Robinson won the Rio gold in the S6 class in this event, beating Australian youngster Tiffany Thomas Kanewho finished in bronze. But Kane has been bumped up to the S7 level while Robinson remains at S6. Both are entered in the event, which is technically listed as S7. Robinson is the only S6 entered, next to three S7s. Both other entrants were S7 A finalists in Rio: Canada’s Sarah Mehain and Tess Routliffe. Robinson had the fastest time of the bunch in Rio (35.58), but Mehain (36.46) and Kane (36.81) weren’t far behind. Robinson has this year’s fastest time as well.

The SB9 100 breast doesn’t feature any SB9 Rio Olympic medalists, but does have Canada’s Katarina Roxonwho won the SB8 class in Rio. She’s the only SB8 entered. The six SB9s are led by Rio A finalists Paige Leonhardt and Madeline Scott of Australia. Leonhardt has the top time in the world ranks (excluding a pair of Dutch swimmers who won’t be at Commonwealths) with Scott sitting second.

Also keep an eye on Sophie Pascoewho was the 2008 Paralympic champ and 2012 Paralympic silver medalist in this event but didn’t swim it in Rio.

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3 years ago

This is going to be an interesting lot of para races to watch.
Lakeisha Patterson biggest IM fraud of the meet. If proven that she is committing this, will she be stripped of all world records and medals from the past. (One would hope) multiple classifications over career

Paige Leonhardt-S14 convert to S10 now claiming CP from car accident at age 5.

Jasmine Greenwood- Australia’s newest and youngest. Another S14 turn S10. CP from appendicitis infection.

There must be some good doctors downunder that can diagnose a condition that is normally acquired before during or immediately after birth (within the first few years).

Reply to  Mary
3 years ago

Patterson won’t be proven unfortunately Mary. She’s gotten away with it. Too many people at the pointy end supporting her fraud. Disgusting. How anyone can believe she presents with CP is beyond me. If swimming classes were similar to athletics her toe walk/heel strike/clasped hand would stick out like a sore thumb. As for S14s competing as PI, that’s as easy a fix for the IPC, or it should be, as fixing Patterson – so that won’t happen either. I sincerely hope that Pascoe can get up over Leonhardt and Hall over Disken. The Commonwealth Games should be a celebration of Para Sport across the Commonwealth, instead it is being tarnished and made a mockery of by some very, very,… Read more »

Reply to  Mary
3 years ago

Why would the IPC suddenly decide Patterson is guilty of IM?
They already know she has only walked with a limp and had a clawed hand since 2014.
They know people witnessed her cheating at classification.
They have videos of her blatantly cheating in her classification swims- videos taken by the Australian team sports scientist.
They already have multiple photos of her which clearly show no impairment prior to 2014 and showing poses which would be impossible for the alleged impairment.
They have videos of her walking a multitude of different ways.
They have stories written by her prior to 2014 talking about the onset of Parkinsons disease with absolutely no reference to having… Read more »

3 years ago

Stoked to see SophieP get the win. Tough field of Aussie “SB9” Competition.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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