Tokyo: Keira Stephens and Katja Dedekind said they were thrilled to pick up bronze medals on Thursday evening and help bump Australia’s swimming medal tally into double digits.
Following four gold medals on night one – courtesy of Will Martin, Lakeisha Patterson, Rowan Crothers and Ben Popham – Australia was unable to get another athlete on top of the podium but the pair from USC Spartans on the Sunshine Coast were both more than happy with bronzes.
Across the first two days of competition, Australia has won four golds, one silver and five bronze medals in the pool.
After day two, Australia is fourth on the overall medal tally with six gold, two silvers and six bronze. China, Great Britain and the Russian Paralympic Committee are in the top three spots.
Stephens, 18, touched the wall in third place to clock a personal best of 1:17.59 in the women’s SB9 100m breaststroke final.
“I am ecstatic with that swim,” Stephens said. “It’s a personal best time for me. I’ve been working really hard in training, doing some good times. Just to do that race makes everything so worth it.”
Shortly after, Dedekind also won a bronze medal in the S13 100m backstroke final to add to her collection from Rio, where she also picked up third place in the same event.
“That was probably the best race that I could have put forward this week,” Dedekind said.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Kaylee McKeown trains with the pair in Queensland and they admit her excellent results a few weeks ago in Tokyo had inspired them.