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World Series Para Wrap Up

21 February 2020

Lucky Patterson
Lakeisha "Lucky" Patterson has her eyes on Tokyo later this year

With the Tokyo Paralympic Games and selection trials fast approaching, our Funkita athletes are all stepping it up a notch in the year that matters most. This is no different for our Funkettes Lakeisha "Lucky" Patterson, Katja Dedekind and Taylor Corry. The trio last week competed at the first of 6 Para World Series meets; this time held in Melbourne. The 3-day Victorian State Open Championships was held simultaneously, and for our experienced and faithful Paralympians it was a chance to compete once again at an international level.

Off the back of the 2019 IPC London World Championships where the girls all swam exceptionally, their focus has immediately switched to the Paralympic year. Australia's selection trials are in June, and the recent World Series was one of a limited number of racing opportunities in the lead-up to the Tokyo campaign. Around 70 athletes from 16 nations battled in Victoria, and our girls did not disappoint.

Lucky Patterson
Lucky has been a long standing F-Teamer with Funkita over the years

Lucky Patterson, our 21-year-old golden girl from Belgravia Swim Club in Queensland, was in Melbourne to "experience racing under pressure and fatigue". "I have been in a pretty tough training phase at the moment, the more I get used to the pressure the better I will perform at major competitions". A gold medalist from the London Worlds in the S9 400 Freestyle, Lucky was again the fastest S9 in Melbourne and second on points in the multi-class format. "2019 was a year of learning for me, I have a different mentality and more optimistic approach, and I'm making more of a conscious effort to not let others and things impact me". For the next four months Lucky will compete at multiple local and domestic meets to continue learning and honing her race skills, with the very clear goal of being present in Tokyo.

Katja Dedekind
Katja took home a gold, silver and a PB at last weekend's World Series

Dedekind, also on the right track for Tokyo selection, did not disappoint in Melbourne. Also amidst a heavy workload of training, our Katja managed a gold medal (100 Back), a silver (50 Free), a PB in the 100 Freestyle and 4 multi-class finals berths. "One of my goals for the meet was to just see where I'm at". Claiming medals in multi-class international racing is no easy feat. "I learned a few things from the meet that I can now apply to training and the next competitions". Katja has already continued her training for the next domestic competition on her agenda; the NSW State Open Championships in March. "Towards trials I am working hard in all areas to be the best I possibly can".

Taylor Corry
Taylor Corry rocks her Funkita gear both at training and at the beach

Taylor Corry also had a heavy schedule of events in Melbourne. After a successful couple of years consolidating her place on the Dolphins team; particularly having stood on the podium at the 2019 Worlds, Taylor is no stranger to the big occasions that 2020 will bring. At the World Series she recorded 3 new personal bests and claimed a medal of each colour; the highlight being gold in the MC 50 Fly. "I was extremely happy with my results. It was also great to catch up with friends I don't see too often, but now it's back to training where I want to work on my medley and main event, the butterfly".

With the trio all having a different lead-in to the selection trials in just under 4 months, their aspirations are very much the same. Keep an eye out for our Funkettes who are absolutely smashing it when it counts!

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