The New Zealand Herald

Lucky No 13 for Pascoe in the Games pool

- Niall Anderson

It was tough, but tonight was about winning. I’m stoked to back up what I did four years ago. Sophie Pascoe

Make it lucky No 13 for Sophie Pascoe.

New Zealand’s most successful swimmer added another gold medal to her already bountiful haul at the Commonweal­th Games last night, coming home first in the women’s SB9 100 metre breaststro­ke final.

It added to her gold in the SM10 200 metre individual medley on Saturday, and brought her overall tally of gold medals in Paralympic and Commonweal­th Games to 13.

This one wasn’t as easy to earn as some others. Pascoe led all the way, but faded in the final metres, and came under threat from the Australian duo of Paige Leonhardt and Madeleine Scott.

However — as she always does — Pascoe came out on top, touching .72 seconds ahead of Leonhardt to back up her 2014 victory in the same format, in a time of 1min 18.09s.

Pascoe laughed that she heard the Aussie duo closing in over the final metres.

“I couldn’t see them but I could definitely hear the crowd, so I knew some Aussie was on my back. It was tough, but tonight was about winning. I’m stoked to back up what I did four years ago,” she said.

The 25-year-old always sets high expectatio­ns for herself, and noted that her Commonweal­th Games performanc­e will only spur her on to success at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“It’s great to come away from these Games knowing that I’ve given everything, but there’s a lot to work on as well, and that’s what it’s about.

“When you set high expectatio­ns, you go out, you perform, but there’s always something to work on — the big picture is Tokyo.”

With Leonhardt aged 17, and Jasmine Greenwood claiming a remarkable fifth at age 13, Pascoe knows that things are only going to get tougher from here.

“Half of that field is young blood, and I’m old blood now, and it’s about using that experience and perfecting the technique and working on all the little things which will get me through to a successful performanc­e over in Tokyo.”

Bobbi Gichard missed out on qualifying for the women’s 50m backstroke final, while Sam Perry and Daniel Hunter also came up short in the men’s 50m freestyle.

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