Great Britain Wins Three More Gold Medals at World Para Swimming Championships as Four World Records Fall in London

Maisie Summers-Newton broke the world record in the SM6 200 IM. Photo Courtesy: British Swimming / Georgie Kerr Photography

The 2019 World Para Swimming Championships continued on Wednesday from London as the Brits won three gold medals on night three from Maisie Summers-NewtonAlice Tai and Louise Fiddes. Additionally, Summers-Newton, Naohide YamaguchiMa Jia and Carlos Serrano broke world records on night three in London.

Men’s 100 Back

Russia’s Alexander Makarov won the S2 100 back final to start off the third night of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London with a 2:00.63 as he went 1-2 with fellow Russian Vladimir Danilenko (2:04.59). Chile picked up its first medal with a bronze from Alberto Abarza (2:04.82).

Women’s 100 Back

Singapore’s Yip Pin Xiu won the country’s first medal of the championships with a gold in the S2 100 back with a dominating win at 2:18.61. She won by 21 seconds over Canada’s Aly van Wyck-Smart (2:39.27), who broke the Americas record for the silver. Italy’s Angela Procida (2:42.71) was the bronze medal winner.

“It feels absolutely amazing. I’m so excited,” said Van Wyck-Smart, who trains at Variety Village Aquatic Club with coach Ryan Jones. “All the hard work that I put in with my coaches is paying off. I couldn’t be happier.”

Men’s 100 Fly

Dimosthenis Michalentzakis of Greece won the S8 100 fly final with a 1:01.94 just ahead of USA’s Robert Griswold, who was coming off a gold medal in the 100 back last night. Griswold won the silver at 1:02.81 while Poland’s Michal Golus (1:05.21) won the bronze medal.

In one of the best finishes of the entire meet, Italy’s Simone Barlaam and Federico Morlacchi touched at the exact same time in the S9 100 fly final at 1:00.36. Barlaam won his third gold medal of the championships and he will get to share it with his countryman. Russia’s Alexander Skaliukh (1:01.01) won the bronze medal.

Women’s 100 Fly

Great Britain’s Alice Tai held off a strong charge from USA’s Jessica Long in the S8 100 fly as the Brit came out on top much to the delight of the London crowd. Tai won gold at 1:09.76 to break the championships record while Long was second at 1:09.78. Those two were well in front of bronze medal winner Viktoriia Ishchiulova (1:13.00) of Russia. This was Tai’s third gold medal of the meet.

Tai said of her race:

“The back end of my fly is always super painful. The goal this morning was to cruise the heat, but it got to the last 15 and I probably died just as much as I did there. That finish was very lucky for me. I could see Jess on the second 50 and I know she’s super strong on the back end of the race. I saw her glide into the finish and I added a stroke and I was freaking out as I thought she was going to touch first. I’m a bit stunned I managed to get that one.”

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe won another gold medal with a 1:04.35 in the S9 100 fly as she broke the championship record, missing her own world record of 1:02.48. Pascoe finished well in front of Great Britain’s Toni Shaw (1:07.83) and USA’s Lizzie Smith (1:08.12), who broke the American record with the bronze.

Shaw said of her performance:

“My first 50 was definitely a lot quicker. I could feel myself dying in the last 15 metres but I just told myself to just keep going as it was almost done. I’m so happy, it’s really special seeing all my family looking on; they’ve done so much for me with all the early mornings and all the travel to the competitions far away. This is the biggest achievement of my life so far, I can’t really believe it.”

Smith had this to say:

“My left leg is in a lot of pain right now, but it felt good looking up at the clock and seeing a best time and third place next to it,” Smith said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself with butterfly, and I knew it was going to be a fight. There’s three of us and any one of us could have taken silver, bronze or 4th, so it’s super relieving. This is a good marker to show that what I’ve been doing is working. It also shows some small weaknesses that I can be working on for the next year to break 1:08.

Men’s 200 IM

Russia’s Andrei Granichka won the SM6 200 IM final with a 2:41.31 as he broke the championships record just ahead of China’s Wang Jingang (2:41.99). Colombia’s Nelson Crispin won the bronze at 2:43.28. Australia’s Hamish McLean broke the Oceania record in sixth place at 2:53.06.

Women’s 200 IM

Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton gave the London crowd something to cheer about in the SM6 200 IM as she broke the world record at 2:57.24 to lower it from a 2:57.99 that she set earlier this year. Summers-Newton was well in front of silver medal winner Yelyzaveta Mereshko (3:00.83) and China’s Song Lingling (3:03.01), who broke the Asian record with the bronze.

A thrilled Summers-Newton said of her performance:

“I wanted to go out and do the best I could. I wanted that gold medal, and to get the world record as well is amazing. I am so happy with the race. I turned in fourth place at the half way mark and I just thought I need to max out this last 50 and try to touch the wall first.”

Men’s 100 Breast

Japan’s Naohide Yamaguchi continued the world record trend with a 1:04.95 in the SB14 100 breast as he lowered the old world record from a 1:05.28 that Great Britain’s Scott Quin set earlier this year. Quin finished in second with the silver at 1:05.46 while Marc Evers of the Netherlands was third at 1:07.03. Australia’s Jake Michel (1:07.88) finished in fourth but broke the Oceania record.

“I would have liked to have executed things a bit better. I came into the final a bit more relaxed than the heat and it’s the fourth time this season I’ve gone 65 for the event.”

Speaking about Yamaguchi taking his World Record, Quin said:

“Sometimes you have to accept someone goes quicker than you, and it’s good to see the youngsters coming through and making improvements and you have to applaud that.”

China’s Yang Bozun won the SB11 100 breast with a 1:10.73 as he just missed his own world record of 1:10.08 from the 2016 Paralympics. However the official results have been protested. Rogier Dorsman (1:11.47) was listed as the silver medal winner while Keiichi Kimura (1:12.86) was listed with the bronze.

Carlos Serrano of Colombia broke the world record in the SB7 100 breast final with a 1:11.31 as he smashed his own record of 1:12.50 set at the 2016 Paralympics. Serrano crushed the field as Russia’s Egor Efrosinin (1:16.55) broke the European record for the silver medal. Australia’s Blake Cochrane (1:18.06) won the bronze medal.

“It was just unfortunate I wasn’t able to put together properly those last 20 metres – I was probably hurting a bit too much, but I picked up (the) bronze medal, so that’s alright,” Cochrane said post-race.

“I came in here this week to try and put some processes together to really set myself for a really good time, I was hoping to get down to 1:16 and I was a little bit off where we needed to be, and I’ll have a look at where that went wrong.”

South Africa’s Christian Sadie broke the African record with a 1:23.72 for seventh place.

Women’s 100 Breast

Great Britain’s Louise Fiddes won the third gold medal of the night for the Brits as she won the SB14 100 breast final with a 1:13.20, just missing the world record of 1:12.61. Fiddes did break the championships record as she just out-touched world record holder Michelle Alonso of Spain (1:13.49). Brazil’s Debora Carneiro (1:17.52) shared the bronze medal with Russia’s Valeriia Shabalina (1:17.52).

Talking about her race, Fiddes said:

“It’s not quite how I expected the race to go. I took it out a bit too easy on the first 50 but at least I had it in the tank at the end. Being an S14 athlete I’ve struggled a bit with pacing in the past. I find it hard to judge how much I have left in the tank. I’m absolutely ecstatic.”

China’s Ma Jia broke the world record in the SB11 100 breast with a 1:22.36 as she lowered the record of 1:23.02 that Zhang Xiaotong set at the 2016 Paralympics. Ma won by over three seconds ahead of Liesette Bruinsma of the Netherlands (1:25.59), who won the silver medal. Yana Berezhna (1:27.50) of the Ukraine finished with the bronze medal.

Australia’s Tiffany Thomas Kane won the SB7 100 breast final with a 1:30.84 as she won the Aussie’s first gold medal of the night, winning ahead of Canada’s Tess Routliffe (1:32.39) and Russia’s Mariia Pavlova (1:33.74).

“I’m still just in so much shock, I’m so happy to have brought the first gold medal home for Australia – I can’t believe that just happened,” Thomas Kane said after the win. In that last 25 metres my body was dying but I knew I had to push all the way to get that gold medal and I did.

“My strategy was just to do the best I could do. We’d done all the skills before, so I just needed to make sure I delivered on those skills in the race and that got me in the front. I could hear my teammates in the crowd and the cooee and thought ‘the team is behind me’ so I’ve got to race well for them.”

Routliffe had this to say after the silver medal:

“I’m thrilled with my race. It really couldn’t have gone better. I’m ecstatic for that Canadian record, excited for that best time. I really like the breaststroke, I’m having a lot of fun with it,” said Routliffe, a 2016 Paralympic silver medallist in the 200-m IM who trains at Montreal’s High Performance Centre – Quebec with coach Mike Thompson. “I think I was just being myself tonight. I’m competitive and I like racing people, and I used the people beside me to push myself even further.”

“There were so many great swims today and tonight, but I want to pay special credit to Tess, who was able to call on all of her experience and focus on the process that she and coach Mike have worked on,” said Lomas. “To swim a lifetime best and win a medal in a world championship final is testament to Tess’s professionalism, focus and talent.”

Men’s 150 IM

Russia’s Roman Zhdanov won the SM4 150 IM as he broke the championships record with a 2:26.27. He finished nearly five full seconds in front of Israel’s Ami Omer Dadaon (2:31.17) and even further ahead of Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki (2:37.29) for the bronze.

Women’s 150 IM

USA’s Leanne Smith picked up the first gold medal for the Americans on night three with a 2:56.49 in the SM4 200 IM as she broke the championships record with her gold medal. Smith is categorized as an SM3 swimmer as she won ahead of Maryna Verbova (3:00.85) of the Ukraine. Italy’s Arjola Trimi (3:02.12) won the bronze medal.

“I don’t think it’s quite set in yet,” Smith said. “I kept looking back at the board to really see my time and make sure it was aligned with my name and the USA, so I’m in a bit of shock at the moment. I’m really excited to get to that podium and hear our anthem. It was completely unexpected but I’m feeling good.”

Men’s 50 Free

The Ukraine went 1-2 in the S12 50 free as Illia Yaremenko (23.53) and Yaroslav Denysenko (23.91) finished ahead of Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei (24.32). Salei actually tied with his older brother Dzmitry Salei of Belarus (24.32). The two Salei’s swim for different countries but are biological brothers. South Africa’s Franco Smit broke the African record with a 25.30 for seventh place.

Women’s 50 Free

Maria Gomes of Brazil won the 50 free S12 final as she won by 0.01 over Russia’s Anna Krivshina. Gomes won the gold at 27.41 while Krivshina won silver at 27.42, sharing the podium with fellow Russian Mariia Latritskaia (27.87), who won the bronze medal.

Men’s 400 Free

Maksym Krypak of the Ukraine continued the Ukrainians strong night with a championship record in the S10 400 free at 4:01.17 as he was off his own world record of 3:57.71 set at the 2016 Paralympics. Krypak was two seconds ahead of silver medal winner Bas Takken of the Netherlands (4:03.63). Canada’s Alexander Elliot (4:08.34) won the bronze medal.

“The entire race strategy was to stay close in the first 200 and, exactly like in training, finish the final 200 really strong. Once I took the lead for third place I wasn’t letting anything take it back,” said the 23-year-old Elliot from Club Rouge et Or in Quebec City, who was fifth after the first length of the pool and fourth at the 250-m mark but moved into third place with 100 metres to go. “It just feels amazing to have this first world championship medal.”

Women’s 400 Free

Oliwia Jablonska of Poland won the country’s first gold medal of the championships with a 4:29.65 in the S10 400 free as she broke the championship record in winning the gold. Jablonska just missed the world record of 4:29.27 set by Canada’s Aurelie Rivard last year. Rivard won the silver medal with a 4:30.42 ahead of Great Britain’s Zoe Mullooly (4:34.91).

“I’m speechless,” Mullooly said. “The 400 coming into this competition wasn’t really my focus at all. I kind of stopped doing distance so to come and get a bronze in the 400m free is incredible. This morning was really positive. I know I usually progress from heat to final, so knowing there was a possibility to go even quicker tonight was amazing, but I wasn’t expecting a whole three seconds. I shut my eyes on the back 50 and just went for it.”

Men’s 100 Free

Ihar Boki of Belarus won the S13 100 free final with a 50.74 as he broke the championships record in the process. Boki was just shy of his own world record of 50.65 from last year as he was well in front of Islam Aslanov (52.07) of Uzbekistan, who won the silver. The Ukraine’s Kyrylo Garashchenko (52.40) won the bronze medal.

Women’s 100 Free

Italy’s Carlotta Gilli picked up another championship record in the S13 100 free final with a 58.79 as she won ahead of Anna Stetsenko (59.65) of the Ukraine. Gilli missed her own world record of 57.34 set last year as she still won the gold medal. Shokhsanamkhon Toshpulatova (59.80) of Uzbekistan was the only other swimmer to break a minute as she won the bronze.

Mixed 4×50 Free Relay

China won its second relay of the championships as Wang Jingang (30.20), Wang Lichao (31.69), Zhang Li (37.18) and Peng Qiuping (41.54) swam a 2:20.61 to win the gold medal. Italy broke the European record with the silver at 2:22.40 while Russia was third at 2:30.39.

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