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Wellington’s wizard in the pool, Mary Fisher produced some pure magic tonight, winning gold in the S11 200 m individual medley and rounding out the New Zealand 2012 campaign with 17 medals.
Sophie Pascoe added another silver medal to her collection of 3 golds, and two silvers she already has, while Daniel Sharp touched the wall in second place in the 100 m breaststroke to then be disqualified on technical grounds. New Zealand was able to mount a successful appeal to have his time reinstated.
Fisher swam the ultimate race, leading from start to finish ahead of the more fancied Daniela Schulte of Germany, who’d only set the world record a few hours earlier in her heat.
The 19 year old Kiwi adds the gold to the two silver medals and a bronze she’s already packed in her suitcase for the flight home, and now also owns the world record of 2:46.91.
“A gold medal and a world record in my final event, the final New Zealander to be competing at this event. I went out there and just put my best forward and I definitely can’t believe it at this point. There’s going to be a New Zealand national anthem playing and a world record for the medley,” smiled the surprised Kiwi.
Pascoe, who was swimming in possibly the most competitive discipline of the S10 class, produced a career best 1:19.28 to set an Oceania record and qualify second fastest for the S10 breaststroke final. She then returned to top that performance by swimming nearly a second better in the final in 1:18.30, just a shade off the winner from the Ukraine, Khrystyna Yurchenko in 1:17.81.
The Cantabrian emerged a hero from the pool, finishing no less than second in all 12 of her races. Six heats and six finals.
"I’m incredibly wrapped to finish the games off like that, my ultimate goal was to get on the podium and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve taken 2 seconds off my entry [to the games] time. I’m finished and had a great campaign and a successful one," said Pascoe, a mix of jubilation and relief.
Pascoe and bronze medallist Harriet Lee of Great Britain couldn’t be separated at the split, turning in 36:90, three hundredths of a second behind the eventual race winner.
“I just gave it hell for leather on the way back. I just wanted to hold on as much as I could and I did.”
While every one of her London medals are something to celebrate, Pascoe felt her gold on opening night set the wheels in motion for such an amazing run. “My 200 IM definitely was a great start to the meet, and I didn’t expect the time I saw up there on the board, and I guess I’ll be reflecting on that on the way home on the plane, just how well I’ve done.”
Daniel Sharp had an anxious 25 minute wait before the judges admitted they got it wrong, overturning his disqualification in the 100 m breaststroke.
Sharp was down and back in 1:06.72 knocking 2 seconds off his previous best.
“It was a bit stressful, I wasn’t overly nervous because I was confident I hadn’t done anything wrong, but yeah there was a wee while to wait to find out what the ruling they had down and then they had the wrong things and written the wrong thing down so we were able to put in a protest and get it overturned.”
“They had claimed that I had done a butterfly stroke before my pull-out [turn] but a stroke involves using the arms and I was still under the water, and the kick I did is part of our pull-out. I don’t know what the official was thinking but they had written the wrong thing down as well.”
New Zealand’s swim team banked 12 of New Zealand’s 17 medals, Sophie Pascoe 3 gold, 3 silver, Mary Fisher 1 gold, 2 silvers and a bronze, Cameron Leslie 1 gold and Daniel Sharp 1 silver.
Shootings- Michael Johnson, 1 bronze.
Cycling- Phillipa Gray and Laura Thompson 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
Fiona Southorn 1 bronze.