Australia’s Ellie Cole hopes to collect the final golden piece of her esteemed Para swimming career at her swansong at the Commonwealth Games.
Cole is among a 27-strong Australian Para swim team to compete at the Birmingham Games starting on July 28.
The meet will be Cole’s last and she has one burning ambition: a Commonwealth gold to add to her collection featuring six Paralympic gold medals.
The 30-year-old has one silver medal and three bronze from her past Commonwealth Games appearances, in 2010 and 2018.
“Obviously I am going there to try and win,” the freestyle S9 stalwart said on Thursday.
“I’m not going to be too disappointed in myself as an athlete if I don’t, I have achieved a lot in my 17 years on the Australian swim team.
“But the one thing missing is a Commonwealth Games gold medal.”
Cole said ending her career at a Commonwealth Games was apt.
“We have seen Para sport come such a long way over the last 10-12 years,” she said.
“And huge credit goes to the Commonwealth Games, it’s one of the only events in the world where we have an integrated program.
“So I do have a lot to thank the Commonwealth Games for and that’s the reason I wanted to retire at the Commonwealth Games.”
Queenslander Blake Cochrane will be Australia’s first Para swimmer to contest four Commonwealth Games when he competes in Birmingham.
Other decorated Para swimmers on the team announced on Thursday include Lakeisha Patterson, Matt Levy and William Martin, who broke two world records at last year’s Tokyo Paralympics.
The 21-year-old Martin said he remained inspired from watching the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“I was one of the kids in the stand watching Australia go for gold,” Martin said.
“Now it’s my turn to have a crack and hopefully be someone who young kids can look up to and be inspired by.”
Student Isabella Vincent, 16, is the youngest member of Australia’s Para swim team which boasts eight Paralympic gold medallists and eight Commonwealth gold medallists.
Vincent is among 16 Commonwealth Games debutants named for Birmingham.