Patterson hasn’t had a drink since late 2019 and said he couldn’t wait to wet the lips back in Cairns after two more events in Tokyo.
“No Bacardi and orange juices yet, they’ll have to wait for a little,” Patterson said. “I’m sure the whole of Cairns will be on fire on the beers.
“I just wanted to start off fast and hold the speed for as long as possible. To come away with a bronze and a silver is pretty special. I’ve been looking for a Paralympic medal for 13 years. I’m over the moon.”
Meanwhile, Pearse’s celebration after touching the wall in third place showed just how much it meant to him after spending time during lockdown training in his family’s farm dam.
The Year 12 student stopped the clock in 57.66 seconds to set a new Australian record. Ukraine’s Maksym Krypak claimed gold in a world record time of 54.15 in front of Italy’s Stefano Raimondi (55.04).
But a moment of panic in the pre-race calling room unsettled the red-headed youngster from Victoria, who lost his foot as a child as a result of a lawnmower accident.
“In the marshalling room I had this uncontrollable shake,” Pearse said. “Lining up hearing the roar and the names, I started getting pins and needles in my hands. I couldn’t feel anything and I had to pour water on them to try and get feeling back. So hopping on those blocks was really tough. It was a lot of pressure.
“For the first 35 metres I didn’t feel like I was swimming, I just still had that adrenaline going through my body, and that last 25 metres all the work me and my coach have done over the past 18 months on that back-end speed work has paid off.
“It’s been a hard 18 months with all the lockdowns. So to finally get on the podium at the Paralympics, it’s just everything. I still can’t just put words together. How I’m feeling right now, it’s just incredible. It’s a childhood dream come true. [It] makes it all worth it, training every day for the past 18 months, during lockdown, not taking a day off. It’s worth it.”
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