Lake Macquarie-raised sailor Liesl Tesch and Maitland-based swimmer Maddi Elliott have finished their Paralympic campaigns in Rio with gold medals.
At either end of their Games careers, retiring 47-year-old Tesch successfully defended her mixed two-person SKUD18 title in a seventh and final Paralympic appearance while 17-year-old Elliott became the first person to break 30 seconds in the S8 category for women’s 50 metre freestyle.
Tesch again partnered with Daniel Fitzgibbon to repeat the triumph from London and toasted her late mother Pam, who died at home during Paralympic competition in 2012.
“Wowee ... it hasn't sunk in yet,” Tesch posted on social media after the victory.
“Our hearts are filled with gratitude to everyone, and for the opportunity we have had to represent Australia in this incredibly beautiful country at a phenomenal Paralympic Games. And it was wonderful to eat a porterhouse steak last night and propose a quiet toast to our beautiful mother Pam Tesch, who has been with Trudii and I here in Rio in spirit having the time of her life!”
They could be the last pair to clinch the event with sailing off the Paralympic program for Tokyo 2020.
In the pool and Elliott stopped the clock in a world record time of 29.73 seconds to collect her third gold medal of the Games.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion right now because I’m not fully comprehending at the moment,” said Elliott.
“It’s been three years that I’ve been trying to break the 30 (second mark) and to be able to break the world record as well, I’m really stoked and overwhelmed with emotion right now.”
A silver in the 4x100m medley relay over the weekend took her overall career tally to nine Paralympic medals, including five in Rio.
Scone equestrian Lisa Martin had her second fourth place with 72.25% aboard Famous First in the Individual Freestyle Test Grade IV.
Newcastle’s Kurt Fearnley posted online before his final Paralympic marathon.
“Last Paralympic run tomorrow. Weird thinking about me at 13, wondering & dreaming about where it would go:) living a 20 yr gift. #Lovethis,” he said.