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Cameron Leslie just off the podium

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After a tiring week which included two goal medals Cameron Leslie finished just outside the podium in the Men’s 200m Freestyle S4 at the Para World Swimming Championship in London, touching the wall in 3:00.07 to finish in fourth place.

It was a blistering finish to the final with two of the three swimmers ahead of Leslie both going under the previous World Record to set a new time of 2 minutes 53.06.

"I’ve exceeded my expectations. I was coming here with a goal of finishing first or second in one, maybe two, races but it’s been pleasing to get the results I have. Disappointed to finish with a fourth, I was hoping to steal a bronze, but it is what it is, it’s a tough race and everyone in that race has swum really well."

Jesse Reynolds set a new personal best in the morning’s heat of the Men’s 200m Medley SM9 before swimming just under a quarter of a second faster in 2:23.99 to finish in seventh place.

It was also a personal best swim for Wanaka’s Hamish McLean in the Men’s 50m Butterfly S6 in a time of 35.70, earning him 9th place.

Tupou Neiufi went quicker than her previous best in the Women’s 200m Medley SM8 but was disqualified for what was described as ‘alternating kicks’ at times underwater, when they should be synchronised.

The same fate applied to Christchurch’s Celyn Edwards in the Men’s 200m Medley SM8.

Leslie who is the senior swimmer of the group had this to say about the team’s performance heading into the final day tomorrow. "It’s been really impressive seeing these young guys put their best foot forward - a lot of them are stepping up from heats to finals and a lot of them are pressing to get into the medal times and I guess you just hope they keep working when they go home and keep that drive going and remember why they do it."

Sophie Pascoe, Chris Arbuthnott and Celyn Edwards round out the meet tomorrow in the 50m Freestyle events, "it’s the splash and dash, they’ve just got to smash it! Execute the game plan and don’t go crazy," Leslie finished.

The 2019 World Para Swimming Championships (London, England) will take place from 9 - 15 September with 600 competitors from 60 nations. The Championships will see this event take place at the Aquatic Centre that was used for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The event is an opportunity for nations to secure athlete slots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

How to watch in NZ

The World Para Swimming Championships finals sessions will be shown free to air on TVNZ Duke from Tuesday 10 to Monday 16 September. Kicking off at 4:55am Tuesday 10 September for those early birds and then daily as final sessions take place! Other opportunities to watch your Kiwi Para swimmers in action will include a daily 30 minutes highlights programme at:

Tuesday 10 to Friday 13 September, 1:10pm

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, 1:30pm and 2:30pm

Monday 16 September, 12:40pm, special 1 hour programme

Duke can be found on Channel 13 or Sky Channel 23. All this great Para swimming action will also be available on TVNZ On Demand.

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