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Leslie swims to third Paralympics gold

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/09/2016
Cameron Leslie has won gold in the 150m medley race, setting a wrold record in the process. © Getty Images Cameron Leslie has won gold in the 150m medley race, setting a wrold record in the process.

New Zealand's Cameron Leslie has claimed a career hat-trick of Paralympic gold medals after a record-breaking win in Rio.

Leslie stormed to victory in the SM4 150m individual medley, breaking his own world record by more than 2sec.

His time of 2min 23.17sec was too quick for Chinese runner-up Jin Zhipeng and Denmark's Jonas Larsen.

It was the third successive victory in the event for Leslie, who tasted success at the Beijing and London Games.

It was the fifth gold medal in Rio for New Zealand and their 10th overall.

Swimmers have won four of the golds and will seek to add to it later on Monday when three other Kiwis contest finals, including the prolific Sophie Pascoe.

Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand celebrates after winning a gold medal in the Women's 100m Backstroke S10 final © Getty Images for the New Zealand Paralympic Committee Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand celebrates after winning a gold medal in the Women's 100m Backstroke S10 final

Pascoe set a Paralympic record of 1min 04.37sec in the S10 100m butterfly heats, setting up the chance to build on her Rio medal haul.

The 23-year-old has won two gold medals and a silver in the last three days, lifting her career tally to eight golds and 13 medals in total.

Nikita Howarth also qualified fastest for her S7 50m butterfly final while Mary Fisher, who has already nabbed one gold in Rio, was third-fastest in heats of the S11 50m freestyle final.

Another Kiwi still in medal contention on Monday is track sprinter Liam Malone in the men's T44 200m final.

Earlier on the track, William Stedman was fifth in the T36 long jump, usurping his personal best by 13cm in reaching 5.35m.

Jacob Phillips was eighth in the T35 200m final in a time of 29.10.

Two teenage swimmers narrowly missed qualifying for finals - Tupou Neiufi in the women's S9 100m freestyle and Hamish McLean in the men's SM6 200m individual medley.

Sonar class sailors Richard Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp made a strong start to be second in their 14-boat fleet.

They notched an eighth place and a win in the first two of 10 qualifying races to trail leaders Australia.

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