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Women share medals in the pool

19 Mar 06 11:10
Rebecca Cooke waves to the crowd as they applaud her gold medal 800m swim. 

Rebecca Cooke waves to the
crowd as they applaud her gold
medal 800m swim.

The spectators at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre have been treated to some amazing races as the Women's 100m Butterfly Final, 800m Freestyle and the EAD 100m Freestyle have been fought and won.

Australia’s Jessicah Schipper has claimed gold in the Women’s 100m Butterfly but beating her own Commonwealth Games record set this morning in a time of 57.48.

Libby Lenton came a close second and Audrey Lacroix from Canada picked up the bronze. 

“It’s absolutely amazing being part of Australian swimming now and its wonderful that I can have a title like this for my own," Schipper said.

Also this evening, Natalie Du Toit from South Africa has won her second gold medal with a time of 1:01.81 in the 100m Freestyle EAD (Elite Athletes with a Disability) event. 

The silver went to Valeria Grandmaison from Canada in 1:01.02 and bronze to Anne Polinario from Canada in 1:03.10.

Du Toit was the South African flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. 

Having competed at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998 as an able bodied athlete at the age of 14, Du Toit, lost her leg in a motorcycle accident on her way home from school in 2001.

Despite this setback, she was determined to compete at the Manchester Games both as an able bodied and disabled competitor just to prove it could be done.

She achieved her goal, swimming into a creditable eighth place in the able bodied 800m Freestyle EAD, and winning gold in the 50m and 100m EAD events.

Another top performance tonight was England’s Rebecca Cooke's gutsy swim to defend her 800m Freestyle title winning gold in a time of 8:29.5 one body length ahead of Australian Melissa Gorman in 8:30.79. Canadian Brittany Reimer came third in 8:38.05.

Cooke led all the way increasing her lead by a fraction at every turn, with Gorman keeping on her heels. With a body weight of a mere 44kg, Cooke powered through the water with a strong leg kick and clean stroke.

The home crowd certainly has inspired many swimmers to give it their best, with Gorman saying in relation to her setting a new personal best time “An eight second improvement in a year! The home crowd makes it even better.”

The Women's Semi Finals for the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Breastroke and 50m Freestyle are also being contested tonight.

For the latest results, view the Schedules and Results section on this Website.

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