Ellie Cole in action during night six of the Paralympic Swimming Tournament at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
Ellie Cole in action during night six of the Paralympic Swimming Tournament at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. AAP Image - Sport the library, Greg Smith

Ellie Cole takes Gold after eight long days in Rio

THE relief on Ellie Cole's face was crystal clear.

After a long eight days, she finally won her first individual Paralympic gold medal on Saturday morning, (Australian time) in the 100m backstroke S9 final.

"It's day nine of competition and that can be hard on any athlete," Cole said.

"I knew that I was world record holder going into that race and I was still questioning if I was worthy to be there, heading in.

"I knew that I was, but it's amazing that even after the amount of psychological sports training that I've had, those thoughts still come in and try and take you down."

Previously Cole had won two individual silver medals, a bronze and a relay gold at these Games.

"Winning four gold medals after the London games, I had a lot of expectation on myself and the Australian public did too, and you know it can be really tough," she said.

What made the gold just that little bit sweeter was Cole set a new Paralympic record in the process.

"For me to get a Paralympic record is amazing," she said.

"I guess I'm really starting to pave the way for the next generation of Paralympic swimmers."

At 24, although still young, Cole is one of the more experienced swimmers on the team, having been to two Paralympics.

"I think the swim team, about 50% of them it's their first games and they really look to you for a lot of guidance," she said.


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