Ngāpuhi Champion Smashes World Record and Qualifies for 2020 Paralympics

By James Perry

Ngāpuhi can now add “World Record Breaking Para-Swimmer” to its list of accolades.

Ngāpuhi’s newest champion, Cameron Leslie returns home today after breaking the world Para-Swimming record for 50m Mens S4 Freestyle at the Para-Swimming World Championships in England.

His 37.14 second time breaks a 15 year record of 37.54 seconds, and is only the beginning of Leslie’s achievements.

He brings another Gold medal from the 50m Mens S4 Backstroke after helping the Wheelblacks qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Wheelchair Rugby division for the first time since 2008. 

The three-time Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer was part of IWRF Asia-Oceania Wheelchair Rugby Championships, collecting the bronze medal, with the team qualifying for the Paralympics next year in Tokyo.

After trying the sport in 2007 following a Have a Go Day, he fell in love with the sport and not long afterwards he was selected for the Wheel Blacks. Since then he has had his sights set on playing at the Paralympics.

With a place at Tokyo secured for the Wheel Blacks, Leslie is now hoping his schedules allow him to continue to pursue both sports next year.