Sport Col Pearse overcomes lockdown to secure tearful bronze
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Col Pearse overcomes lockdown to secure tearful bronze

Teenager Col Pearse overcame Victoria's lockdowns to win a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games on Tuesday. Photo: Paralympic Australia
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Swimmer Col Pearse broke down in tears after overcoming Victoria’s repeated lockdowns to win his first Paralympics medal.

The 18-year-old VCE student was fearing the wrath of his friends as he became an endearing, blubbering mess on TV after his S10 100m butterfly bronze.

As Australia won two more gold medals on Tuesday and wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott overcame a tough challenge to make the quad singles final, Pearse was overcome with emotion after his final.

“My boys are going to rip into me for this … do not make memes over me crying, please,” he told Channel Seven.

“It’s been a hard 18 months in Victoria (and) it just means the world to me to finally go on the podium.

“Eighteen months ago I didn’t think this was possible.”

Pearse and his family famously set up a training pool in a dam last year on the family farm near Echuca, complete with lane ropes, so he could train while pools were shut.

Then he could not go to the Paralympic trials in Adelaide earlier this year because of a border closure.

While Pearse was overcome with emotion at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre on day seven, Australian team cult figure Grant “Scooter” Patterson was claiming the keys to the city.

The short-statured Patterson, known as the unofficial mayor of Cairns, won silver in the SB2 50m breaststroke to go with last Saturday’s bronze.

“I think I will have a set of keys for when I get back – I will unlock some naughty doors,” Patterson said.

For all the emotion and laughs, the powerful Australian swim team had a lean night on Tuesday despite plenty of opportunities.

They had 11 finalists, but Jasmine Greenwood’s silver in the S10 100m butterfly was the only other medal at the pool.

Of their three finalists in the women’s S9 100m freestyle, Ellie Cole was the first home in fifth place.

Australia now has 13 gold, with cyclist Darren Hicks taking out the C2 time-trial and James Turner claiming the T36 400m at the track.

Alcott survived a stern challenge from Dutch opponent Niels Vink to win 6-4 3-6 6-4 and the top seed will face Sam Schroder, also from The Netherlands, for the gold medal.

Carol Cooke, who turned 60 this month, also won silver on time-trial day at the road cycling, while Paige Greco (bronze), Emily Petricola (silver), Meg Lemon (bronze) and Alistair Donohoe (bronze) also finished on the podium.

Distance running star Jaryd Clifford won his second Tokyo medal when he took bronze in the T13 1500m.

In boccia, Daniel Michel will play for Australia’s first medal since Atlanta after narrowly losing Tuesday’s semi-final.

Australia continues to impress in table tennis, with the Classes 9-10 men’s team beating France 2-0 in their quarter-final.

But the men’s Classes 6-7 team lost their quarter-final to Great Britain 2-0.

Todd Hodgetts was seventh on Tuesday night in the F20 shot put, while the Gliders ended the women’s wheelchair basketball tournament with their first win when they beat Algeria 71-32 in the playoff for ninth.

-AAP