There was no fairytale finish for Australia’s most successful Paralympian Ellie Cole OAM. Yet, even in her defeat, the gracious and popular Cole almost stole the show from the winner Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand.
Pascoe, who won gold in the S9 100-metre freestyle final and is a close friend of the Aussie legend, was the first to comfort Cole after the race, giving her an emotional hug.
There were tears, not only from the 30-year-old Cole, but from the commentators, rivals and fans as she bade the Games farewell after a phenomenal career. The former coach and squad member at Castle Hill RSL’s Fitness and Aquatic Centre, has indicated that this would be her last Commonwealth Games.
The 30-year-old Cole hit the turn in third place, and just as it looked she would be able to snatch a medal, she was unable to close the gap in the end. Fellow Aussie Ashleigh McConnell edged Cole for fourth spot. While the Hornsby local has six Paralympic gold medals to her name, she has never won a Commonwealth Games title.
“At the end, knowing it was all over was pretty hard,” Cole told 7SPORT.
“I was stretching earlier today, and I texted my family and said, ‘thank you for everything’.
“It hit me about an hour ago, and it’s pretty hard to warm up when you’re crying the whole time.
“It was fun, and it’s been a really great run.”