COIMBRA, Portugal, August 8. THE World Deaf Swimming Championships kicked off with finals last night in Portugal. The meet is taking place in long course meter format, with the first day of competition featuring several world and meet records falling.
Marcus Titus of the U.S. twice downed the world deaf record in the men's 50 breast with a 27.79. That swim beat his prelim time of 28.17, that in turn beat his 2009 global standard of 28.47. Titus' time shot him to 18th in the overall world rankings. Ukraine's Andriy Zurgalidze (30.53) and Russia's Martin Fomin (31.69) rounded out the top three.
Ukraine's Anna Tovsta dropped three seconds in the women's 400 IM to best the world deaf record of 5:08.21 set by China's He Yue Yue back in 2009. Tovsta chopped a might double-digit amount off her preliminary time of 5:16.06, that had been a meet record. Germany's Jarmila Gupte (5:18.04) and Linda Neumann (5:21.90) finished second and third in the race.
Italy's Luca Germano clocked a 1:53.40 in the men's 200 free, crushing the meet record of 1:59.12 set by Volodymyr Natalchuck in 2007. Germano just missed Terence Parkin's world deaf record of 1:53.12 from 2009. Brazil's Guilherme Kabbach (1:56.17) and Poland's Artur Pioro (1:56.20) took second and third.
Callum Ross of Great Britain clocked a 4:38.43 in the men's 400 IM, downing his meet record of 4:44.09 set during prelims. Russia's Ilya Trishkin (4:39.70) and Vitally Obotin (4:42.67) wound up second and third in the event.
Belarus' Aksana Petrushenka nearly clipped her world deaf record in the women's 50 breast with a meet-record 33.34. That swim beat her prelim time of 33.39, that stood as the record heading into final. Petrushenka set the world deaf record with a 33.27 in 2009. Belarus' Natalia Deeva (34.80) and Ukraine's Iryna Tereshchenko (35.11) placed second and third.
Rebecca Meyers of the U.S. topped the women's 200 free in 2:11.83. Russia's Luiza Marushkina (2:12.12) and Great Britain's Hannah Fitton (2:13.30) finished second and third in the event.
Special thanks to Dana Elam for contributing to this report.