Aussie Austin takes EAD 50m freestyle title
01 August 2002
In front of an excited audience, Ben Austin snatches another Aussie gold.
A complex system that rates elite athletes with a disability (EAD) with a relative formula meant that Ben Austin lifted another Australian gold tonight - even though he was actually the fifth swimmer to touch (27.59).
The S8 swimmer was awarded first place because of his time which was measured against other previous times by swimmers in his own category.
S10 Philippe Gagnon of Canada was awarded silver (25.04) for his Games record time whilst another Canadian, S10 swimmer Benoit Huot (25.07), took the bronze.
S12 Darren Leach (25.91) of England also broke his catgory's Games record as did Welshman S7 swimmer David Roberts (28.71).
Austin celebrated afterwards, saying: “It can’t get any better than that. I am happy to Costas Faikas off his throne. He has dominated freestyle for so long.”
Philippe Gagnon commented: “It’s a pretty good race. I’m not the best of 50m free swimmers. In the 100, the second 50 will be decisive for me."
“My performances prove how far disability swimming has come. As a result of the integration in the Canadian team, and the team spirit, is great.”