Timothy Disken of Australila celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony.
Timothy Disken of Australila celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony. Buda Mendes

Disken wins gold to take mantle from Cowdrey

SWIMMING: Australia can justifiably lay claim to "owning” the men's S9 100m freestyle at the Paralympics after Melbourne teenager Timothy Disken won gold in the event in Rio.

Matthew Cowdrey, who retired from competitive swimming last year as Australia's most successful Paralympian (with 13 gold and 23 medals in total), had won the race at Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Well aware of that record, 19-year-old Disken put aside the pressure to dominate the final 20 metres of the race ahead of compatriot Brenden Hall, giving Australia the quinella.

"The last 35 stung a bit but I just put my head down and tried to focus on myself,” Disken said.

"It's fantastic to go one-two, especially for Junior (Brenden Hall) to go his fastest time since world champs. We both pushed each other to the limit and it's amazing to go one-two.”

Disken's winning time of 56.23 seconds fell short of Cowdrey's 55.84 in London. Hall finished in 56.95, his best time of the season.

It was Disken's second medal of the meet, following his bronze in the 200m individual medley on Monday.

In the women's S9 100m freestyle, Australia's Ellie Cole, the gold medallist at London in 2012, took bronze in a time of 1:02.93.

Australia also won bronze in the the women's SM6 200m individual medley, with fifteen-year-old Tiffany Thomas-Kane finishing fourth but elevated to bronze following a disqualification.


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