Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College student Maddi Elliott has won a gold medal at the Rio Paralympics in her pet event the 100m freestyle.
Elliott, 17, held onto her title as best in the S8 category 100m and dedicated the win to her late friend Jade Frith.
“I really want to dedicate this to my friend Jade. She’s been my best friend for so long and since I lost her a couple of months ago I’m going to dedicate this medal to you,” she told a Channel Seven reporter after the race.
Jade, a 15-year-old swimming champion from the Central Coast, died in hospital in April after she was hit by a car. At the time Maddi called on the tight-knit swimming community to post photographs “in honour of a lovely girl” and a cascade of tributes quickly followed.
Elliott finished less than a second behind the world record for the event, but the finishing time did not take the shine off her win.
“It was a lot of pressure…but all I had to do was focus on the race, stick to the race plan that me and my coach had and I’m actually really happy and stoked with the result,” she told a Channel Seven reporter after the race.
She has dominated the event over the past two years winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and IPC World Championships last year.
Elliott, who has cerebral palsy, was a clear favourite to take our her first individual Paralympics gold after winning gold as a 13-year-old in London in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
She shared the Paralympic win with fellow Australian swimmer Lakeisha Patterson who took silver in the Monday morning final.
Source: Maitland Mercury