Americans Anastasia Pagonis, Gia Pergolini Set World Records on Night 2 of Paralympics Prelims (Video)

Anastasia Pagonis; Photo Courtesy: Joe Kusumoto/USOPC

Americans Anastasia Pagonis, Gia Pergolini Set World Records on Night 2 of Paralympics Prelims

Americans Anastasia Pagonis and Gia Pergolini set world records Wednesday night, accounting for two of the world marks set on the second night of swimming at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Pagonis will be the top seed in the women’s S11 400 freestyle final by nearly 12 seconds. She blasted the field to win her heat in 4:58.40, unseating the world record set in 2019 by Lisette Bruinsma of the Netherlands at 5:02.19. Bruinsma is the second seed in the final at 5:10.33.

Pagonis also downed the Paralympic record set in 2012 by Germany’s Daniela Schulte at 5:11.32. Bruinsma, who won the first heat of two, briefly held the Paralympic record.

In the next event, Pergolini destroyed the women’s S13 100 backstroke. She won the second heat of two in 1:05.05, downing the world mark set in May by Carlotta Gilli of Italy in 1:05.56.

It sets up what should be a thrilling S13 100 back final. Australia’s Katja Dedekind set the Paralympic record in the first heat, clocking in at 1:07.38 to down the mark set in Rio by Anna Stetsenko of Ukraine (1:08.30). Gilli was also under that mark in 1:08.00. Stetsenko finished 10th in 1:10.89, missing out on the final.

Women set all four world records on the evening. Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko was first in the S6 200 individual medley with a time of 2:56.90. The undercuts the record set by Maisie Summers-Newtown of Great Britain in 2019 at 2:57.24.

Meresheko is the top seed in the final, just a half second ahead of American record-holder Elizabeth Marks in 2:57.42. Summers-Newtown is lurking in third at 3:00.15. (Marks also set the American record in the SM6 50 fly off the front of that IM.)

The Netherlands’ Chantalle Zijderveld was seventh tenths faster than her own world record in the women’s S9 100 breaststroke to clock in at 1:11.23. That’s more than four seconds faster than the winning time from the Rio Olympics, turned in by her countrywoman Lisa Kruger, who will occupy the second seed in the final. Kruger briefly held the Paralympic record at 1:13.83.

Australia’s Rachel Watson set a Paralympic record in the women’s S4 100 freestyle in 1:35.27, downing a record that had stood since the Atlanta Games in 1996 (Kay Espenhayn of Germany, at 1:37.58). Watson missed out on the final in the event, which combines the S5 and S4 classes. S5 world-record holder Tully Kearney of Great Britain, who set the world record Wednesday night off the front of the S5 200 free in which she won gold, is the top seed in that final.