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Reilly reels in swimming gold

04 August 2002

Australia's Jennifer Reilly takes gold in the women's individual medley final.

Jennifer Reilly

Jenny Reilly celebrates gold for Australia

Reilly’s display typified the sort of magnificent swimming that Australian have brought to Manchester by holding on for gold, despite brave challenges from New Zealand’s Elizabeth Van Welie, and compatriot Jennifer Abbott.

Van Wellie exceeded expectations throughout. She was strongest through the backstroke, and then further extended her capabilities to maintain her challenge up until the final freestyle leg.

England’s Rebecca Cooke swam another great race in front of the home crowd, but could not add to the two golds she had taken in the 400m and 800m freestyles.

Reilly said: “I’m stoked to finally get through and get gold at the end of a difficult week. It’s been a fantastic highlight.

“I supposed the disqualification in the 200 IM has gave me something to think about. I made sure there were two hands on the turn going into the freestyle. I knew the New Zealand girl would be up there, but I just had to go for it and push on.

“I can’t describe how I feel about the gold. It’s so good – my mum and dad are here as well.”

The Van Welie gamble paid off as she took silver.

Van Welie said: “We’ll party tonight! I never thought about going for a medal, I go for a time.

“I never wanted to pull out of the 200 Fly, even though the final was just half an hour before, because that is my event and that is what I came here to do. I’m used to doing that kind of thing in training, though.”

Abbott said: “My PB was great. I can’t believe it. I’ve been working a bit more towards the 400. I was going for a PB tonight, and thought I might get a medal. I remember seeing some wash from Jen, and thought I might be close to her.

“I could see my mum and auntie waving at me, and that was just amazing.”

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