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Teen's world record gold at Paralympics

AAP logoAAP 9/09/2016 By Lucy Hughes Jones

Lakeisha Patterson got Australia's Paralympic campaign off to a golden start as she toppled her idol in world record time.

Nicknamed Lucky, teenage swimmer Patterson appears on track for a big medal haul at her debut Games after claiming the nation's first gold medal of the Rio Games on Thursday (Friday AEST), winning the women's S8 400m freestyle.

The 17-year-old rookie led from the 100m mark and hit the wall in 4.40.33, shaving 0.11 seconds off the previous best owned by American runner-up Jessica Long, who finished second.

It was a statement triumph for the Queenslander over the 12-time gold medallist.

"I knew I had to attack and not let go. I knew she was right behind me," said Patterson, who has cerebral palsy.

"She has been my idol growing up and to race alongside her and to get past her is amazing ... I felt quite bad. She has achieved so many things and I have come out of nowhere.

"I did not think my first Games would end up like this."

Long, a four-time Paralympian, said she knew it would be a tough race.

"Lakeisha did a great job so I am happy to hold on for the silver," she said.

"I had to overcome some injuries to compete, so it is a good result."

Patterson will have little time to celebrate the gold as she'll be back in the water Friday morning for the heats of the women's 100m butterfly.

With six individual events on her Rio schedule, Patterson's gold could be the first of many.

"Hopefully I can follow suit for the rest of the week," she said.

Patterson was one of four Aussie women who medalled on day-one of competition.

Para-cyclist Sue Powell claimed the country's first medal earlier in the day, taking silver in the women's C4 3km individual pursuit to add to her London 2012 crown.

In track and field, Australia's Carlee Beattie also won bronze in the women's T47 long jump, while Angela Ballard came third in the women's 100m T53 final.

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