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Cole overcomes doubts to win gold in Rio

AAP logoAAP 17/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Australian Paralympian Ellie Cole doubted she was still good enough to win gold in Rio, but promptly proved she was as strong as ever.

The 24-year-old swimming veteran bagged her first individual gold of the Games with a Paralympic record in the women's S9 100m backstroke on Friday (Saturday AEST), the penultimate day of the meet.

It was Cole's last chance to win a solo title in Rio, and the four-time London gold medallist was getting nervous.

She already had two silvers and a bronze under her belt, plus a gold with the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team from the night before.

Despite being the reigning world and Paralympic champion and the current world record holder in the event, the pressure was on.

"I was still questioning if I was worthy to be there heading in," she said.

"It's amazing that even after the amount of psychological sports training that I've had, those thoughts still come in and take you down."

The Sydneysider had called it quits after London but returned to the pool in January 2015 after recovering from double shoulder surgery.

The three-time Paralympian said it's getting harder to compete against youngsters like 17-year-old Spaniard Nuria Marques Soto who came second, and 16-year-old American Hannah Aspden who took bronze.

"As you get older it can be hard to have the same enthusiasm going into a race," she said.

"Once you start getting beaten a couple of times, that thought of you being invincible disappears, and you do start questioning yourself."

Cole, who had her right leg amputated due to cancer when she was three-years old, had tears streaming down her face as she stood on top of the podium singing the national anthem.

She then backed up to snare silver in the women's 4x100m medley relay alongside Madeline Scott, Maddison Elliott and Lakeisha Patterson.

Cole said the fire in her belly had been reignited, and she's already looking to Tokyo 2020.

It was a cracker night for Australia in the pool, with Maddison Elliott breaking her own world record in the S8 50m freestyle S8 to score another gold, and Lakeisha Patterson was right behind her for silver.

Brenden Hall snapped up his third medal of the Games with bronze in the men's S9 100m backstroke.

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