MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, April 5. PARALYMPIC champion Ian Silverman was one of three world record breakers on the first day of competition at the spring Can-Am championships, which is serving as the world championship trials for the United States and Canada and a prep meet for other swimmers around the world.
Silverman blasted through the men's 1500 freestyle with a 16:24.63, breaking the 33-year-old world mark in the S10 division that had been held by Canada's Philippe Gagnon with a 16:29.28. The high school senior has never broken a Paralympic world record, and was quoted after the race as having confidence that he will set more world records this week.
“My coach and I decided to go for the record in the 1500m,” said Silverman. “I was able to execute my race strategy and pace throughout the race to get my first world record. After the 1500 prelim this morning, I swam a bunch of 100s to prepare for tonight, and it paid off with a win in the 100m free. I'm looking forward to the 400 free on Saturday and going for the 800 free world record tomorrow.”
Kayla Wheeler got things off to a rollicking start on the women's side, blasting through her own world record in the women's 50 butterfly for the S1 division. She swam a 1:37.34 in prelims before blazing through finals with a 1:30.57.
Wheeler posted a double victory with a win in the 100 free for the S1 division with a 2:58.27.
Three other American records fell on the first night. Ryan Duemler swam a 1:04.54 in the 100 free for a new mark in the S8 class, breaking Evan Austin's record of 1:04.95. In addition to Wheeler's world record in the 50 fly, Elizabeth Smith posted an American mark in the S9 division with a 32.11, breaking the former record of 33.27. And Leslie Cichocki swam a 38.60 in the prelims of the 50 fly prelims, setting a new American record in the S14 division.
Paralympic champion Daniel Dias, likely already qualified to swim at the world championships for Brazil, cruised through the 100 freestyle for a victory in the S5 category with a 1:13.93, well off the world record of 1:08.39 he set at last year's Paralympics.
Click the link below for a full list of results from Day One.