Medal success for Emily Beecroft in Tokyo Paralympics

Emily Beecroft’s 2020 Paralympic Games campaign is off to a sensational start with the 21-year-old securing her first Paralympic medal in Tokyo on Sunday night.

The La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP) member, who is also a TechnologyOne High Performance Sport Scholarship holder, was part of Australia’s Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34 points) team that finished second in the final behind Italy, while Canada finished in third.

The race was not without drama however with two teams - including the first-placed United States - disqualified soon after the race had ended. The Great Britain and USA teams both left the blocks too early on the first changeover, meaning the Australian quartet of Beecroft, Ellie Cole, Isabella Vincent and Ashleigh McConnell had their third-place finish promoted to a silver medal.

Competing in the sport class S9, Beecroft swam an important third leg in the relay to keep the Australians in touch with the podium placings. Speaking to Channel 7 after the race, Beecroft said she was pleased to play her part in the result.

“I really didn’t know what to expect coming into this race, so we all just made sure we stuck to our own race plans,” Beecroft said.

“What a way to kick off my Tokyo campaign and I couldn’t ask for a better start.”

The silver medal result is a great reward for effort for the La Trobe Bachelor of Arts student, who at the tender age of 16 competed in three finals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and narrowly missed out on a medal in the 50m Freestyle S9.

Beecroft will now turn her attention to securing more silverware in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S9 event on Tuesday and the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay (34 Points) final on Thursday.

The result capped off a stunning weekend for the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program in the pool, with fellow para-swimmer Ahmed Kelly also securing a silver medal in the Men’s SM3 150m Individual Medley on Saturday night.

Stay tuned to La Trobe Sport’s Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest news on La Trobe’s Paralympic athletes. You can also check out their competition times here.

For more information on the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program, head to the La Trobe Sport website.