Sophie Pascoe squeaks past Sophie Christiansen

Germany, Sept 18, 2013: New Zealand’s star swimmer Sophie Pascoe was voted the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Athlete of the Month for August after winning gold in all five of her events at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada.

In what was the closest Athlete of the Month poll ever on, Pascoe received 44 per cent of the public’s vote, just slipping by British equestrian rider Sophie Christiansen in the final hours of voting to win the monthly honour.

Pascoe dominated her races in Montreal, winning gold in the following events: 50m freestyle S10, 100m freestyle S10, 100m butterfly S10, 100m breaststroke SB9 and 100m backstroke S10.

In the process, she set new world records in the 50m freestyle S10, 100m freestyle S10 and 100m butterfly S10.

“It gives me something to work toward looking towards Rio,” Pascoe said following one of her races in Montreal. “It’s all about perfecting everything now, and doing those little things right.”

“London 2012 was a massive high. We waited for years for it, and then you come down from it on a low in some stages. That happened to me, but then I got out of that and was able to train properly for this meet in Montreal and be in proper position for it.”

Pascoe, just 20 years old, is now already a six-time Paralympic and 11-time world champion. She was a crucial part of New Zealand’s surprising fourth-place finish in the medal standings at the IPC Swimming World Championships. The delegation only finished behind Ukraine, Russia and Great Britain in the gold-medal count with 12.

In addition to Pascoe and Christiansen, Chinese wheelchair fencer Yijun Chen, Romanian cyclist Carol-Eduard Novak, Australian swimmer Maddison Elliott, Australian rower Erik Horrie and Ukrainian swimmer Olga Sviderska were also up for the IPC’s monthly award.

Nominations for IPC Athlete of the Month are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs).

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