Awesome foursome set for Paris

Published 10:15am 11 June 2024

Awesome foursome set for Paris
Words by Nick Crockford

Above: Brenden Hall last night after booking his ticket to the Paris Paralympics. Picture Delly Carr

Brenden Hall, Lakeisha Patterson, Kaylee McKeown and Sam Short will be flying the flag for Moreton Bay at the Paris Olympics and Paralympics.

The quartet are set to be in Australia’s elite swimming teams which will be announced on Friday and Saturday nights, after day one of the Olympic Trials.

Brenden Hall - who grew up in Petrie, went to Pine Rivers State High School and trained at Redcliffe, Lawnton and Burpengary - is eyeing off a fifth Paralympics.

Now 31 and based on the Sunshine Coast, Hall clocked 4 minutes 16.17 seconds last night to win by almost four seconds in the S9 400m freestyle multiclass.

No one wants to see the old guy win the race, so it is kind of my little stick it to the young guys,” he joked. “When it comes time for competition that inner mongrel comes out."

Awesome foursome set for Paris
Lakeisha 'Lucky' Patterson who is aiming for a third Paralympic gold medal in Paris.

Hall told Channel 9 he was aiming to “do my best to get in contention for the team, then head down bum up for the next couple of weeks and work towards that end goal.”

Despite having three Paralympic golds, Hall still wants to leave a “long, lasting impression” for his young son Bodhi, in the stands last night with mum Brittany.

Lakeisha Patterson, who trains with Bribie-based coach Harley Connolly at USC Spartans, will join Hall after winning the women’s 400m freestyle multiclass.

The 25-year-old, who lived in Caboolture and trained at Burpengary, eased home in 4 minutes 45.79 seconds and is aiming for a third gold in Paris from August 28-September 8.

“I’m pretty pleased with that,” she said on Channel 9, “I went out hard this morning and aimed to back it up tonight. It’s pretty exciting to qualify for my third Paralympics."

Awesome foursome set for Paris
Kaylee McKeown, the nformer Caboolture resident, on her way to victory in last night's 200m IM. Picture: Delly Carr

But "Lucky" added: “(In the) Paralympics anything can happen. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I know I have to do the work.”

Kaylee McKeown, who dominates the world backstroke event, booked her ticket to the Paris Olympics in the 200m individual medley clocking 2 minutes 6.63 seconds.

After being disqualified in this event at the World Championships last July, the former St Paul’s Lutheran College, Caboolture student made no mistake this time.

“When you’re in the middle of a race, you kind of switch off and I focus on trying to not get DQ’d (disqualified),” the Redcliffe-born swimmer said.

“You never know what can happen (at the Olympics). I’ve got to put my best foot forward and hopefully in Paris my foot’s better!”

Awesome foursome set for Paris
Sam Short, the former Albany Creek swimmer, in the men's 400m freestyle at the Olympic trials. Picture: Delly Carr

McKeown, who was with Australian Crawl at Burpengary, is back in the pool today for the 100m backstroke – in which she holds the world record.

In the men's 400m freestyle final, Elijah Winnington, the 2022 world champion and Sam Short, the 2023 world champ, had a stroke-for-stroke battle.

Winnington (3:43.26) pipped Short (3:43.90) , the former Albany Creek swimmer now at Rackley, with a last-gasp burst.

But both recorded Olympic qualifying times and are set for the Paris Games from July 26-August 11.

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