Lewis storms to gold in Lima
Jessica Lewis made a scintillating start to the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, after storming to victory in the women’s T53 400 metres final on Saturday.
Lewis executed the perfect race, making a flying start and finishing in a time of 1min 01.95sec, a second faster than Yen Hoang, of the United States, who came second in 1:02.95. Kelsey LeFavour, of the US, placed third in 1:02.97.
The Bermudian is eyeing a sweep of medals in all three of her events in Lima and will return to action in the 800 final tomorrow.
“It’s such an honour to bring home a gold medal again to Bermuda,” said Lewis, the reigning Parapan Am T53 100 champion.
“I felt like I had a great chance of winning the race, but I knew that it was going to be a fight with the US girls. I am quite thrilled that I managed to be that far ahead of them.
The gold medal represents a major breakthrough for Lewis, as she has often struggled for sustained power at the longer distances and believes her switch to a harder pair of gloves has made a huge difference.
“I have transitioned into using the hard gloves which have definitely helped me get stronger in the longer-distance events,” she added.
“I had the best start I have ever had in these gloves, so everything just came together for the race.”
Lewis’s main race, the 100, will take place on Wednesday, with the 26-year-old hoping to shatter her Parapan Am record time of 17.67, which she set in Toronto in 2015.
She is, however, expecting stiff competition from her main rival LaFevour, who previously raced in the T54 and has beaten Lewis on occasions since moving classifications.
Also representing Bermuda in Lima, are boccia players Steve Wilson, Yushae DeSilva-Andrade and Omar Hayward.
Wilson and DeSilva-Andrade have previous experience at the Games, having competed in Toronto, while Hayward will be making his debut in the competition. All three represented the island at the Bisfed World Boccia Championship in Liverpool in 2018.
Wilson will compete in the BC1 classification pool and DeSilva-Andrade and Hayward are part of the BC4 classification pool. The boccia competition starts on Thursday.
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