SUNSHINE Coast swimmer Lakeisha Patterson has claimed gold at the Rio Paralympics, breaking the world record in the S8 400m freestyle.

The 17-year-old dominated the race from the 100m mark, to touch the wall in 4min40.33sec.

She finished seven seconds ahead of former world record holder American Jessica Long.

"I was just thinking I need to get to the wall and I need to get there fast," she told the 7 Network.

"Then I looked up and saw the time and saw the WR next to my name. I'm quite speechless.

"I knew I had to keep up that rhythm and go as hard as I could and once I looked at the scoreboard, I knew my dream had become a reality."

St Columban's College mentor academy coordinator Kelly Woods works closely with Lucky to manage her schoolwork with her swimming. 

She said she was red-eyed from staying up late last night but very pleased at Lucky's achievements.

"We are ecstatic, we're jumping for joy here at Columban's," she said.

"Obviously everyone all stayed up last night. A lot of pride's gone into where Lucky's come from and where she is now.

"And 11 seconds in swimming is just off the chain."

Ms Woods said it wasn't a surprise to see Lucky excel, as she takes her heavy workload all in her stride.

"Lucky is just one of those people who's worked so hard, not only in the pool but also out of the pool with her schoolwork," she said.

"What you see in the pool is exactly what she's like academically.

"All round, she puts her heart and soul into everything. She's 150% committed."

Ms Woods said she once spent a regular day with Lucky, getting up at 4am and going right through to 8pm. And she was exhausted by the end of it.

"I was lucky to spend a day with her and I don't know how she does it," she said.

"And she does it every day."

With Lucky swimming in eight more events at Rio, Ms Woods said she was expecting to see more medals coming in.

"The shorter the race, the stronger she is," she said.

"I'm sure there's more to come."

The Caboolture teenager, who started swimming aged three as therapy for her cerebral palsy, trains at the Lawnton Swim Club in Brisbane.

She did train previously at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Patterson had been optimistic she could produce such a swim.

"I always knew deep down inside I could go that fast. It was just a matter of putting it all together," she said.

"I knew I'd put in the hard work so it's really nice to see it's all come together."

Australians are in the mix of the swimming and athletics finals this morning.

Patterson's win marks the second medal win for Australia at the Paralympics, after Sue Powell won silver in individual pursuit cycling.

Patterson was among a host of Sunshine Coast swimmers who were in action, with Blake Cochrane, Rick Pendleton and Braden Jason all making finals.

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