Australia’s Maddison Elliott may have broken the world record to claim the gold in the para-100m S8 swim but the 15-year-old was upstaged by Ann Wacuka of Kenya.
Why? Well, it is athletes like Wacuka who truly embody the motto of these games: Humanity; Equality; Destiny.
The race in which the pair were racing, the S8 class, contains athletes “who have lost either both hands or one arm,” or “athletes with severe restrictions in the joints of the lower limbs”.
While the rest of the field fell into the former category, Wacuka, as can be seen from the picture, fell into the latter.
Elliott’s time of 1:05.32 set a new world record, with England's Stephanie Slater a close second courtesy of a 1:05.73 but it was Wacuka’s swim of 2:04.03 that really drew inspiration from the crowd.
They had just witnessed something very special and the Glasgow crowd roared her home as she came in some 45-odd seconds behind sixth-placed Nikita Howarth.
As if often the case with feats such as this, Twitter was soon awash with praise for the Kenyan - and rightly so!
I saw Ann Wacuka of Kenya in the S8 para-sport 100m freestyle. She's an inspiration to us all about overcoming adversity #commonwealthgames
— Scott Zoidberg (@thefinalmatch) July 26, 2014
— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) July 25, 2014
Ann Wacuka makes Kenya and Africa proud with gusty swim in para commonwealth games
— obioma aguocha (@sportingadvice) July 25, 2014
So there you have it, Elliott got the gold but Wacuka won the hearts of a nation, who showed incredible physical and mental strength to emerge as the true winner in Glasgow.
- Sports & Recreation
- Maddison Elliott