Americans Close World Para Swimming Champs With 54 Medals

Photo Courtesy: Paul Cunningham-USA TODAY Sports

On the final day of competition at the World Para Swimming Championships, Team USA secured seven medals to bring its event total to 54 and finish second in the medal standings on Thursday at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool. The U.S. leaves Mexico City with 21 gold, 20 silver and 13 bronze medals.

To complete a full sweep of her events, 13-time Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) swam to her eighth gold medal and 35th career title at the world championships, winning the SM8 200-meter individual medley in a time of 2:49.93. Long’s eight medals made her the most decorated female at the world championships. Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) stood next to her U.S. teammate on the podium after securing silver with a time of 3:07.08. Having also medaled in each of her events, Gaffney wrapped up her first world championships with a silver in the S8 50 freestyle (34.69) to bring her competition total to six.

Team USA claimed an additional trio of silver medals Thursday night. Paralympic silver medalist Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) brought her world championships medal total to five, swimming to silver in the SM6 200 IM (3:21.13). Earning his fourth individual medal of the competition, Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) had a second-place finish in the SM8 200 IM (2:30.44). Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina), a four-time Paralympic medalist, secured silver in the S12 100 free (55.01) to mark his third medal of the world championships.

To conclude Team USA’s night, Paralympian Natalie Sims (Minneapolis, Minnesota) took home the bronze medal in the S9 50 free (30.29) to bring her competition total to five.

With 54 total medals at this year’s world championships, Team USA improves from the 30 medals won at the 2015 event.

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
Team USA: 54
Jessica Long: 8 gold (SM8 200 IM, S8 100 fly, S8 400 free, S8 100 back, SB7 100 breast, S8 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay)
McKenzie Coan: 4 gold (S7 400 free, S7 100 free, S7 50 free, 4×100 34-point free relay), 1 silver (S7 50 free)
Hannah Aspden: 2 gold (4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 1 silver (S9 100 back)
Sophia Herzog: 2 gold (SB6 100 breast, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 1 silver (SM6 200 IM), 2 bronze (S6 100 back, S6 100 free)
Natalie Sims: 2 gold (4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 3 bronze (S9 50 free, S9 400 free, S9 100 free)
Tharon Drake: 2 gold (S11 400 free, SB11 100 breast), 1 silver (SM11 200 IM)
McClain Hermes: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S11 100 free, S11 100 back), 2 bronze (SB 11 100 breast, S11 50 free)
Becca Meyers: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S13 100 free, S13 100 fly), 1 bronze (SB13 100 breast)
Robert Griswold: 1 gold (S8 100 back), 2 silver (SM8 200 IM, S8 400 free), 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)
Aspen Shelton: 1 gold (S12 100 back), 1 silver (S12 100 free), 1 bronze (S12 50 free)
Colleen Young: 1 gold (SB13 100 breast), 1 silver (SM13 200 IM), 1 bronze (S13 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 gold (S12 50 free), 2 silver (S12 100 free, S12 100 back)
Lawrence Sapp: 1 gold (S14 100 back)
Julia Gaffney: 5 silver (S8 50 free, SM8 200 IM, S8 400 free, S8 100 back, SB6 100 breast), 1 bronze (S8 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 2 bronze (S10 100 back, 4×100 34-point medley relay)
Zach Shattuck: 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)
Roderick Sewell: 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)

QUOTES
Jessica Long
On leaving world championships with eight gold medals…
“It feels awesome. It’s definitely been a really wonderful world championship experience. To come away with eight gold medals, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s really exciting to step up and race.”

Julia Gaffney
On winning six medals in her world championships debut…
“I feel really great. I’m excited that I was able to get a lot of medals for Team USA. It’s given me confidence that I can swim with really fast swimmers like Jessica Long, and it will help push me even more in training.”

RESULTS
Full results from the World Para Swimming Championships can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics onTwitter, Instagram and Facebook for updated information during the event.

Press release courtesy of the USOC. 

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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