Eight World Records Fall on Incredible Final Night at World Para Swimming Championships

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Reece Dunn broke the world record in the S14 100 fly. Photo Courtesy: George Kerr / British Swimming

An incredible eight world records fell on the final night of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London as Italy topped the medal table. China’s Liu Daomin, Russia’s Valeriia Shabalina, Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov, Netherlands’ Liesette Bruinsma, Great Britain’s Brock WhistonReece Dunn and Italy’s Efrem Morelli and Simone Barlaam all broke world records to close out the meet. Additionally, championship records fell from New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe, Great Britain’s Tully Kearney, Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo and Colombia’s Nelson Crispin.

Italy topped the medal table with 20 gold medals while Great Britain won 19 and Russia won 18.

Men’s 100 Breast

Nelson Crispin of Colombia started the final night of the World Para Swimming Championships with a championship record in the SB6 100 breast as he won the gold with a 1:19.24. This is Crispin’s fourth gold medal of the championships and his fifth overall as he won ahead of Yevhenii Bohodaiko (1:21.25) of the Ukraine and Yang Hong (1:22.69) of China.

Russia’s Andrei Kalina couldn’t quite get under his own world record in the SB8 100 breast final as he won the gold medal with a 1:08.84. He just held off Oscar Salguero (1:08.97) of Spain who won the silver medal. Tim van Duuren of the Netherlands won the bronze with a 1:10.12.

Chile’s Vicente Almonacid successfully broke the Americas record with a 1:11.88 for fourth place.

Women’s 100 Breast

China’s Liu Daomin demolished the SB6 100 breast world record with a 1:29.87, breaking her own world record of 1:33.36 from earlier this year. Liu finished ahead of Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton (1:33.46), who nearly broke the world record in finishing second at 1:33.46, but still broke the European record in the process. Great Britain’s Eleanor Simmonds (1:38.22) won the bronze medal to add another to the country’s total.

Summers-Newton commented afterwards:

“Wednesday was brilliant and then today I wanted a PB. To get a European Record is great and I’m really happy. The first 50 I tried to keep up with her (Liu), she’s so strong and it’s an amazing result for her. I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved this week.”

Ellie Simmonds was also very happy with her breaststroke performance adding:

“I can’t believe it; I’m normally terrible at breaststroke! This is just a fun event for me and I’m so shocked to get two PBs in one day. It will give me huge confidence going forward. When I didn’t get on the podium in the 200 IM I was feeling low afterwards, so to come here tonight and get a medal, I’m so chuffed.”

Brock Whiston of Great Britain went 2-for-2 in world record this week as she lowered the SB8 100 breast world record with a 1:13.83. She lowered her own record that stood at a 1:14.41 from earlier this year, adding on to her world record in the SM8 200 IM last night. Whiston finished well in front of Canada’s Katarina Roxon (1:21.96), who broke the Americas record with the silver. Ireland’s Ellen Keane (1:22.42) won the bronze medal.

Despite breaking her own world record, Whiston voiced her frustration with the time and said:

“I’m a little disappointed with the time, which I know sounds really bad, but you always want to go faster. I went a 1:12 split in the relay so to go a 1:13.8 here is a little bit gutting. I know it’s in me to do; it’s just about finding those areas to improve on. You always want to find that little extra and be the best you can be in your sport. I’ll have a week out the pool then I’ll sit down with my coach and start putting plans together for Tokyo.”

Speaking about the week she’s had at the World Championships, she said:

“These are my first major Championships in what I think is the best pool in the world. It’s a home pool with a home crowd and it’s been absolutely amazing. “

“It’s such a good feeling,” Roxon said. “I’m very excited. Coming into this, I really wanted to get a medal. I knew realistically gold was probably out of the question,” said Roxon, who trains at Aqua Aces Swim Club with her coach, and father, Leonard. “My dad and I have been working on a few things. It was super hard at first, but now it’s getting easier. I know I still have a lot more work to do.

“I was watching the Pan American Games last month and there was this girl, she’s 27 and she out-touched everyone in her event, she did amazing. When you hear often enough that you’re getting old, sometimes you start to believe it. But when I saw that, I thought, age doesn’t matter, what matters is how much heart you have, how much you want to push yourself.”

Men’s 100 Fly

Great Britain’s Reece Dunn kept the world records coming on Sunday night in London with a 54.46 in the S14 100 fly final. This was Dunn’s second world record of the meet and his third medal as he lowered the old record of 55.72 from Dai Tokairin set last year. Tokairin was in the race here but he finished in third with a 58.14. USA’s Lawrence Sapp won the silver medal with a new American record of 56.96.

Australia’s Liam Schluter broke the Oceania record with a 59.10 for seventh place.

“I’ve waited three and a half years for another 54,” Dunn said. “To post the fastest time for the event in three and a half years feels great.  It’s been a hard few months of training; the most I’ve trained for a long time and the most I’ve been motivated too, so I’m happy. I must say a massive thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting us, it’s been very loud and very awesome, and the crowd have been amazing.”

Women’s 100 Fly

Russia’s Valeriia Shabalina broke the fourth world record of the night with a 1:03.68 in the S14 100 fly final as she took down Great Britain’s Jessica Applegate, who previously held the world record with a 1:04.13 from last year. Applegate won the silver with a 1:04.26. This is Shabalina’s third gold medal of the week and her fifth medal overall.

Hong Kong’s Chan Yui Lam (1:06.45) broke the Asian record in winning the bronze medal. Australia’s Taylor Corry (1:07.30) broke the Oceania record in finishing fourth.

Applegate said of her race:

“I messed up my turn. I can’t blame anyone else but myself. I’m absolutely devastated at losing my world record but I’ve only got myself to blame. Between now and Tokyo I’ll definitely be working on those and my race strategy.”

Men’s 50 Breast

Italy’s Efrem Morelli broke the fourth straight world record of the night and fifth overall in the SB3 50 breast final with a 47.49. Unlike many of the events earlier, Morelli only broke the world record by 0.05 as she took down the 47.54 from China’s Jin Zhipeng from 2016. Morelli finished ahead of Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki (48.83) and Russia’s Roman Zhdanov (49.34), who won his sixth medal of the week.

Women’s 50 Breast

USA’s Leanne Smith broke the world record streak but was still able to get an American record in the SB3 50 breast final with a 57.24. Smith won by two seconds over Maryna Verbova (59.42) of the Ukraine and Mexico’s Patricia Valle (1:03.46).

Competing in the SB2 classification, Great Britain’s Ellie Challis broke the championship record with a 1:05.96 in fifth place.

“I’m feeling really good,” Smith said. “Definitely came in with no expectations. I trained really hard this year. The last few weeks leading up were definitely hard. It’s nice to come in and see those practices pay off and see best times go down. It’s been a great week here. I’m definitely excited to have a little bit of a break, but get back in the water and get training for Tokyo.”

Men’s 50 Free

Ihar Boki of Belarus collected his sixth gold medal of the World Para Swimming Championships as he won the S13 50 free with a 23.30. He has seven medals from this week in London. Uzbekistan got two on the podium with Islam Aslanov (23.77) winning the silver medal and Muzaffar Tursunkhujaev (24.01) winning the bronze.

The Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov broke the seventh world record of the night with a 27.07 in the S7 50 free as he took down the 27.35 from Pan Shiyun at the 2016 Paralympics. Trusov won ahead of Russia’s Sergei Sukharev (27.81), who won the silver. The Ukraine was able to get two medalists as Yevhenii Bohodaiko (27.92) won the bronze. Bohodaiko earlier won the silver in the 100 breast.

South Africa’s Christian Sadie broke the African record at 29.10 in finishing sixth.

Italy’s Simone Barlaam broke the seventh world record of the night with a 24.00 in the S9 50 free, lowering his own record of 24.39 from earlier this year. Barlaam was a perfect four-for-four this week in gold medals as he broke world records in every single event he swam.

Russia’s Denis Tarasov won the silver with a 25.14 while Italy’s Simone Ciulli (26.04) won the bronze.

Women’s 50 Free

Italy’s Carlotta Gilli won her fourth gold medal of the championships and her sixth medal overall as she won the S13 50 free final with a 27.36. Gilli missed her own world record of 26.67 from last year but she was still able to win the gold ahead of Russia’s Daria Pikalova (27.67) and the Ukraine’s Anna Stetsenko (27.70).

USA’s Mallory Weggemann just missed her own world record in the S7 50 free final as she swam a 32.22, missing her 31.64 record from 2010. Weggemann successfully finished 1-2 with fellow American McKenzie Coan (32.52) as Weggemann collected her third medal of the meet and second gold. Germany’s Denise Grahl (33.38) won the bronze medal.

“When we finished, we gave a big hug and McKenzie (Coan) very kindly reminded me of how much I have been through since I won gold in this pool seven years ago in the 50 free,” Weggemann said. “There’s no better way than to do it beside a teammate. This has just been out of this world.”

“London has changed the Paralympic Movement in ways that I could never begin to put into words. To see London welcome us, yet again, seven years later and do it so incredibly. The fans, the kids who have come out and everyone who organized this competition…It’s been one of the most amazing meets of my life.”

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe won her fourth gold medal of the week with a new championship record in the S9 50 free at 27.77. Pascoe won all four of her events this week as she missed her own world record of 27.32 from earlier this year. Pascoe finished ahead of Portugal’s Susana Veiga (29.17) and Spain’s Sarai Gascon (29.18). Veiga won Portugal’s first medal of the championships.

Men’s 400 Free

Rogier Dorsman of the Netherlands won his fourth medal of the meet with a gold in the S11 400 free at 4:28.64. Dorsman finished four seconds in front of Japan’s Uchu Tomita (4:32.90), who won the silver. China’s Hua Dongdong (4:35.31) won the bronze.

Women’s 400 Free

Liesette Bruinsma broke the eighth world record of the night with a 5:02.19 in the S11 400 free as she broke her own world record of 5:04.74 from 2018. This is her third gold medal and fifth overall at the World Para Swimming Championships. Bruinsma dominated the final as China rounded out the podium with Zhang Xiaotong (5:16.35) winning the silver and Cai Liwen (5:18.49) winning the bronze. Zhang broke the Asian record in the process.

Men’s 100 Free

Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo broke the championship record in the S5 100 free final with a 1:07.76 as he could not get by the 1:06.24 world record held by his countryman Antonio Fantin. Brazil’s Daniel Dias (1:09.02) finished in second while Spain’s Antoni Ponce (1:13.14) was third.

Malaysia’s Muhammad Zulkafly broke the Asian record with a 1:15.39 for fifth place.

Women’s 100 Free

Great Britain’s Tully Kearney (1:17.83) broke the championship record in the S5 100 free as she won her third medal of the championships, winning gold in every event she swam. Kearney was joined on the podium by fellow Brit Suzanna Hext (1:22.80), who ended up winning the bronze. Italy’s Arianna Talamona (1:22.49) split the pair in winning the silver.

Kearney said of her performance:

“I wanted to get a bit closer to that world record but I really I can’t ask for any more. Three out of three isn’t bad at all. This gives me a lot of confidence going forward and I’m hoping to train through the whole of next season and see if I can make Tokyo and see what that might bring.”

Speaking about the capacity crowd who have attended the event, Kearney said:

“It’s been such an amazing Championships and it has been better than I could ever have imagined. The crowd have been amazing and helped pull me back in my 200. I was really struggling that last 50 and the noise of the crowd really helped. I want to thank everyone who pulled this event together so quickly. It’s amazing we actually got to compete in a World Championships this year and also for it to be in front of a home crowd.”

Hext added:

“I wasn’t feeling my best, so just to get through the race was a miracle. I’m over the moon to come to my first international swimming championships and win two medals. It’s exciting for the future and hopefully I’ll keep improving.”

Speaking about managing both equestrian and swimming, Hext continued:

“If my accident has taught me anything it’s to take every opportunity. Equestrian have been very supporting of my swimming and I feel very lucky they’ve worked well together as a team for me.”

Leanne Smith of the United States won her third gold medal of the meet and her fourth overall with a 1:36.49 in the S3 100 free final as she broke the American record. Smith finished way in front of silver medal winner Patricia Valle (2:03.18) of Mexico as Brazil’s Edenia Garcia (2:06.02) won the bronze.

“I’m feeling really good,” Smith said. “Definitely came in with no expectations. I trained really hard this year. The last few weeks leading up were definitely hard. It’s nice to come in and see those practices pay off and see best times go down. It’s been a great week here. I’m definitely excited to have a little bit of a break, but get back in the water and get training for Tokyo.”

Men’s 200 Free

Mexico’s Diego Lopez Diaz won the S3 200 free with a 3:21.69 for his fourth gold medal of the meet. He was nearly four full seconds ahead of Denys Ostapchenko (3:25.45) of the Ukraine and China’s Zou Liankang (3:29.82).

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

Italy closed out the championships with a gold in the men’s 4×100 free relay as the team of Stefano Raimondi (51.83), Antonio Fantin (1:05.78), Federico Morlacchi (56.92) and Simone Barlaam (52.30) swam a 3:46.83 for the gold. The Ukraine (3:48.83) finished in second with Australia (3:49.79) coming in third.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay

Great Britain closed out the meet with another gold in the women’s 4×100 free relay as the team of Stephanie Millward (1:05.95), Brock Whiston (1:10.40), Toni Shaw (1:03.99) and Alice Tai (1:03.52) swam a 4:23.86 to win gold ahead of the Americans (4:24.60). Canada won the bronze at 4:30.09.

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