New Zealand Completes World Para-Swimming Champs Prep at University of Bath

by SwimSwam 8

September 02nd, 2019 News, Paralympic & IPC Swimming

Courtesy: Swimming New Zealand

Nine-time Paralympic gold-medalist Sophie Pascoe is among a world-class New Zealand squad training at the University of Bath ahead of the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships in London.

Rio 2016 Paralympians Tupou Neiufi, Hamish McLean and Jesse Reynolds are also joined by Chris Arbuthnott and Celyn Edwards in a six-strong squad who are finalizing their preparations at the University’s £35million Sports Training Village until September 6.

As well as training in the 50m London 2012 Legacy Pool and using the Team Bath Gym & Fitness Centre for strength and conditioning work, the squad and their seven support staff are staying on campus and have turned their accommodation into a small corner of New Zealand complete with flags and bunting.

Chris Arbuthnott, Jesse Reynolds and Sophie Pascoe at the University of Bath’s London 2012 Legacy Pool

Pascoe – who won three gold medals at each of the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games – is New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian and will be among the leading contenders again in London after setting four World Records at the New Zealand Open Championships this summer.

“This is my first time in Bath and it’s a beautiful city,” said Pascoe. “The people have been so nice and friendly, and I’m enjoying the University facilities – great pool, great training complex and great being able to stay on campus.

“I’m really excited to be going back to the London Aquatic Centre. I haven’t been there since the 2012 Paralympic Games but I obviously have very fond memories. These World Championships are a qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 so all the top swimmers are going to be there and we’re expecting a very high level of competition. It’s about showing where we are ahead of next year.”

While it is Pascoe’s first time in Bath, Team Leader Graeme Maw is no stranger to the University or the area after being born and raised in Bristol. He was also Performance Director for British Triathlon and Director of Sport at Millfield School in Somerset, and had no doubt where he wanted the team to be based when the World Championships were switched from Malaysia to London earlier this year.

“Once the decision had been made, I very quickly put a call into [Director of Sport] Stephen Baddeley at the University to ask about having our final preparation camp here,” said Maw.

“Myself, logistics manager Jodi Cossor and our head coach have all worked in England and know the British swimming and university sporting landscape quite well. We wanted to be within a couple of hours of London and in a campus environment where we could stay in self-catering accommodation and walk to the pool, not have to worry about transport.

“The set-up here ticked all of those boxes and Stephen was fantastic when I got in touch. It was short notice but everyone has helped to make it work and thank you to the British Swimming National Centre and University student swimming club based here who have been very helpful in providing lane space.

“It has been great looking across into the other lanes and seeing some of Britain’s top swimmers and triathletes in training too.”

Triple Paralympic gold-medalist Cameron Leslie is joining up with the New Zealand squad when they arrive in London.

The World Para-Swimming Championships are taking place at the London Aquatic Centre – a 2012 Paralympic venue – from September 9-15. Among those representing Great Britain are University of Bath Honorary Graduate Ellie Simmonds and reigning Paralympic champion Stephanie Millward, who trains in the London 2012 Legacy Pool with Team Bath AS.

The 50m pool at the University of Bath is open to the public, as well as international swimmers. Visit www.teambath.com/swimming to find out more.

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Confused
3 years ago

Well organised team! Day1 S9 100 free Sophie Pascoe v Lakeisha Patterson & Ellie Cole will be very interesting and somewhat embarrassing for the Aussies.

Mary
Reply to  Confused
3 years ago

Let’s see if Cole gets it over Patterson. Anyone know of the classification list occurring at the meet? WPC no longer putting the lists up as far as I am aware with the new updated webpage

99LuftBallons
Reply to  Mary
3 years ago

Looking at the entry list of athletes, I’d say anyone that has a ‘review’ class status with 2019 or nothing for the year would be most likely.

Confused
Reply to  Mary
3 years ago

Mary, given that Lakeisha Patterson isn’t missing a limb, doesn’t present as neurologically impaired by any stretch of the imagination (other than to IPC classifiers) and has a review date of 2022, I’ll take a punt and say that Lakeisha Patterson will get over Ellie Cole. Don’t forget about GBs Toni Shaw or Spains Sarai Gascon either. It all makes for an interesting race for the minor medals which may see Ellie Cole miss the podium altogether … and of course the IPC are going to leave the able bodied swimmer in the mix!

Mary
Reply to  Confused
3 years ago

Whole heartedly agree with you. Confused. This might be the time that Cole finally speaks up or does she have too much to lose sponsorship wise ?

Confused
Reply to  Mary
3 years ago

I wouldn’t know about Ellie Cole’s sponsorship arrangements Mary, but it’s a tricky meet for her for sure. I don’t see where her gold medals are going to come from – Sophie has the 100 free and back in the bag, Lakeisha Patterson the 400 free. That leaves the relays which is usually a tussle between Australia, GB and USA. The moral difficulty for Ellie Cole should be teaming up with Lakeisha Patterson for the relays, if she’s aware of the enormous controversy surrounding her of course. Ellie Cole trains with the Campbell sisters and is coached by Simon Cusack and, as we all know, Cate has been quite outspoken about clean sport so perhaps Ellie Cole will draw some… Read more »

Just Saying
Reply to  Confused
3 years ago

Embarrassing for the Aussies or the classifiers when Pascoe wins easily while she has been assessed as more disabled than 18 months ago and is swimming faster. And you think you are confused!

Confused
Reply to  Just Saying
3 years ago

Yes, I am confused. Sophie Pascoe left her Melbourne classification as S9C SB9C SM10R. Sophie is now S9C SB8C SM9C. NZL swimmers Cameron Leslie and Tupou Neiufi were also classed down.