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The start of something extraordinary

Fourth medal for Sophie, record for Daniel Holt

Canterbury’s queen of the pool, Sophie Pascoe claimed a fourth medal at the Paralympics in London today.

The 19 year old from the QEII club has won the silver medal in the 100m women’s backstroke in a remarkable race with the winner Summer Mortimer and Sophie both going under the old world record.

It is Sophie’s fourth medal of the games – with two golds and two silvers in a remarkable performance with two more swims to come.

Sophie was the top qualifier in 1:07.77 which was a new Paralympics record, with Mortimer (CAN), the current world record holder, only third fastest.

The Canadian stepped up with a blistering 1:05.90 to win the gold medal and break her own world record.

Sophie, coached by Roly Crichton, also produced a stunning swim to clock 1:06.69, which was also under the old mark and set a new Oceania record with the pair three seconds clear of the rest of the field.

Sophie has now won a gold medal in the 200m individual medley, silver in the 50m freestyle, gold in the 100m butterfly and now silver in the 100m backstroke.

She has a day’s break before the 100m freestyle with the 100m breaststroke on the final day of competition on Sunday (NZ time).

Meanwhile Daniel Holt had to settle for a strong fourth placing in the 400m freestyle, setting a new Oceania record in the process.

The 20 year old from the North Shore club, coached by Gary Francis, qualified third fastest in 4:17.63 and improved that to 4:12.66 in the final. He started conservatively to be seventh at the midway mark but gradually powered his way through the field to finish a second away from the bronze medal.

“This morning I finished my race and I could still walk, so I knew I hadn’t given it enough and then that race there [the final] I was collapsing out of the pool,” said Holt. “Six seconds off the Oceania record in one day. The next step now is to come back and get that third spot."

“I’m chipping away at those places, slowly but surely. Rio is definitely an option, I’m looking at definitely coming back in the swimming and who knows what else.”

The Belarus swimmer Ihar Boki claimed a new world record with a remarkable 3:58.78 to claim the gold medal.

Another North Shore swimmer, Rebecca Dubber finished 11th in the S7 50m freestyle.