Silver for Hodge, three Aussies win bronze

Jesse Aungles (l) and Blake Cochrane (r) finished fourth and third respectively in the breaststroke.
Jesse Aungles (l) and Blake Cochrane (r) finished fourth and third respectively in the breaststroke.

Swimmer Blake Cochrane has two gold and two silver Paralympic medals to his name, but says his bronze in Tokyo is the most special after almost retiring in 2020.

Australia added four medals to its swimming tally on Wednesday night with Tim Hodge winning silver and Cochrane, Tiffany Thomas Kane and Thomas Gallagher all claiming bronze.

Cochrane finished third in the SB7 100m breaststroke behind Colombia's Carlos Serrano Zarate and Russian Egor Efrosinin, with fellow Australian Jesse Aungles fourth.

The 30-year-old won gold in the same race in London and silver in Beijing and Rio, while he also claimed gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points in 2012.

"There's a lot of hard work and a lot of things that go behind the scenes of being an athlete," Cochrane told the Seven Network.

"It's tough and it can be tough for the people that are in your life as well, it can be tough for them as well with all the sacrifices they make for you.

"So, out of all the medals I've won, this one probably means the most."

Hodge fell just short of gold to Russian Andrei Kalina in a dramatic 200m individual medley SM9 final.

The 20-year-old was the fastest qualifier and performed strongly in the butterfly leg before snaring a handy lead in the backstroke.

But Russian breaststroke star Kalina pulled ahead in that leg and Hodge was unable to catch him in the freestyle leg.

"Going into that race I had my sights set on seeing if I could get the gold medal but I just tried to remind myself that any medal out of that race was a bonus," said Hodge.

Thomas Kane had eyed gold in the women's 100m breaststroke SB7 but Russian Maria Pavlova was the clear winner before US great Jessica Long outreached the Australian to take silver.

The 20-year-old, who moved into the SB7 category after winning gold in the SB6 in Rio, ruptured her liver at the start of the year and her preparation was also hampered by Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak.

"I was going into that race expecting something better," said Thomas Kane.

"But I think the year I've had and all the sacrifices I've made for this race, I'm happy with bringing home a medal. But I was definitely looking for more."

Gallagher claimed his first medal just 10 months into his swimming career when he finished third behind Maksym Krypak (Ukraine) and Dutch swimmer Bas Takken in the men's 400m freestyle S10.

"I haven't been around for too long, but the past 10 months have been crazy," said Gallagher.

Australian Associated Press