Got to like our Games hero

WINNING GOLD: Jacqueline Freney holds up her first of eight gold medals at the London Paralympics for the 100m backstroke S7.
WINNING GOLD: Jacqueline Freney holds up her first of eight gold medals at the London Paralympics for the 100m backstroke S7. Contributed

THE title of golden girl of the swimming pool no doubt belongs to our own Richmond Valley Swimming Club member, Jacqueline Freney.

With eight gold medals in 11 days under her belt and a string of broken world records behind her, she has been making national and international news.

In her last race, the women's 4x100m medley relay, Jacqueline was in the last leg and dived into the pool at a seven-second disadvantage.

By the end of the race, she had secured her eighth gold medal by 0.03 of a second against Great Britain.

It was 12 years ago that Jacqueline would have watched her grandfather Peter Freney coaching her hero Siohban Paton, who went on to win six gold medals at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.

"Siohban has been Jacqueline's role model since she was a kid," mum Joanne said.

National media outlets have praised Jacqueline's feats in the pool, including the Sydney Morning Herald, ninemsn and The Age, to name a few.

"Freney has become the star of the pool at the London Paralympic Games," the Herald wrote.

"Australia's most successful Paralympian at a single Games," ninemsn said.

The Age likened her achievements to those of US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and called her "superhuman".

Jacqueline's Paralympic Facebook page has been inundated with well-wishes from fans and friends alike.

Joanne has invited people to "like" her daughter's page.

"Her friends are trying to reach a target of 1000 likes before the end of the Games," she said.

At time of printing the page - Jacqueline Freney - Paralympian - was up to 439 likes, so readers are encouraged to increase that number before Jacqueline comes home at the end of September.

The young swimmer is expected to return home at the end of the month and the Evans Head Aquatic Centre is planning an open day to celebrate.

Gold Medals

  • Women's 100m Backstroke S7
  • Women's 50m Butterfly S7
  • Women's 200m Individual Medley SM7
  • Women's 100m Freestyle S7
  • Women's 400m Freestyle S7
  • Women's 50m Freestyle S7
  • Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay 34pts
  • Women's 4x100m Medley Relay 34pts

World Records

  • 100m Freestyle S7
  • 200m Freestyle S7
  • 400m Freestyle S7

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