EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, August 8. NORWAY’S Sarah Louise Rung cemented her position as one of the world’s best para-swimmers on Friday (8 August) with her fourth gold of the 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
The 24-year-old (2:53.75) six-time world champion, who has also won two silvers this week, eased to victory in the women’s 200m freestyle S4. Israel’s Inbal Pezaro (2:59.84) took the silver and Hungray’s Katalin Engelhardt (3:32.55) the bronze.
“It was better than I expected really although my personal best is 2:47 and it’s quite far from that,” said Rung, the Paralympic champion. “It’s the best I could do today. I’ve been feeling a bit tired lately. I’m just satisfied that the race went as well as it could.”
Ukraine won their 20th gold medal of the meeting through Andrii Derevinskyi (3:08.33) in the men’s 200m freestyle S4. The 26-year-old, who also took gold in the 100m freestyle, finished ahead of a thrilling contest for silver and bronze. Spain’s world record holder Richard Oribe (3:10.71) just edged the Netherlands’ Michael Schoenmaker (3:12.25) in a sensational last 50m.
The men’s 50m backstroke S1 saw further success for Ukraine with Hennadii Boiko (1:07.24) picking up his third gold in five days. He now has a full complement of titles in this event having topped the podium at London 2012 and the 2013 World Championships.
Silver went to his teammate Anton Koll (1:16.87) and bronze Greece’s Christos Tampaxis (1:23.20).
Iceland’s Jon Margeir Sverrisson (1:58.66) denied home favourite Marc Evers his third gold medal of the meet with a European record in the men’s 200m freestyle S14. The 21-year-old put in a sensational performance to break his own record from last August to lead home the British duo of Thomas Hamer (2:00.36) and Jack Thomas (2:02.42) in silver and bronze respectively.
The stand-out performer in Friday’s heats was Russia’s Valeriia Shabalina (2:06.50) who took more than three seconds off the women’s 200m freestyle S14 world record set last August. Great Britain’s Paralympic and world champion Jessica-Jane Applegate (2:11.31), the former record holder, qualified in second.
One of the highlights of Friday’s evening session will be the women’s 100m freestyle S6. Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko (1:15.74), the new 50m freestyle European champion, qualified first, just ahead of Great Britain’s world champion in the event Ellie Simmonds (1:16.18). Both swimmers will be chasing their third gold of the meet.
Dmitrii Kokarev (1:03.13) of Russia is on course for his fourth 2013 gold after qualifying in second for the men’s 50m backstroke S2 final. Poland’s Jacek Czech (1:03.06) was fastest.
Another Russian qualifying second fastest was world record holder Roman Makarov (59.83) in the men’s 100m butterfly S12. Azerbaijan’s Dzmitry Salei (59.76), the 200m individual medley gold medallist, led the way.
Belgium will be hoping their first medal of the Championships will be gold, after Sven Decaesstecker (2:17.50), the European record holder and defending champion, was fastest in the men’s 200m individual medley SM10.
Other fastest qualifiers on Friday included Russia’s Roman Zhdanov (2:51.68) in the men’s 200m freestyle S5, Hungary’s Tamas Sors (2:26.37) in the men’s 200m individual medley SM9 and Russia’s Ulyana Kuznetsova (1:35.78) in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB7.
The British duo of Matthew Walker (1:04.34) was fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle S7 and Eleni Papadopoulos (2:38.09) in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10.
The 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships continue until 10 August and feature around 380 of the world’s best swimmers from 37 countries.
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