Paralympics: Danielle Dorris, Liu Yu Set World Records in Final Prelims Session

Aug 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; The Paralympic flag and the national flag of Japan flying during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Bob Martin/OIS Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Bob Martin/OIS Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Paralympics: Danielle Dorris, Liu Yu Set World Records in Final Prelims Session

Canadian Danielle Dorris and China’s Liu Yu wrapped up the final preliminary session at the Paralympics with world records on Friday.

Dorris clocked in at 33.51 seconds in the women’s S7 50 butterfly. That takes down the world record set by Mallory Weggemann in 2012 at 33.81, and it erases the Paralympic record that had stood since 2008 in the hands of Huang Min (34.47).

Weggemann will likely have something to say about it in the final as she chases a third gold medal at these Games. The American is the second seed in 34.92 with Italy’s Giulia Terzi in third. McKenzie Coan and Julia Gaffney are also in the final.

Liu earned her second world record of the Games, covering 50 meters of backstroke in the S4 category in 45.81 seconds. That trims seven tenths off the world record set in 2017 by fellow Chinese swimmer Cheng Jiao. Cheng also held the Paralympic record from the Rio Games. Liu is the top seed in the race by two and a half seconds.

Li Guizhi continued her tremendous games with a Paralympic record and an Asian record in the women’s S11 100 freestyle. She clocked in at 1:05.92, a reduction of 1.3 seconds on the mark set by Italian swimmer Cecilia Camellini at the London Games.

Li has a silver and a bronze in this Games, but she’ll have competition to get to the top step of the podium. The second seed in prelims was Lisette Bruinsma, who holds the world record. She went 1:07.69. The third seed is Anastasia Pagonis, who won the S11 400 free and took bronze in the 200 individual medley. Fourth is Cai Liwen, who has three medals at these Games.

The other Paralympic record of the final prelims session went to Czech Republic’s Arnost Petracek, who leads the field in the men’s S4 50 backstroke. He went 41.75, nearly two seconds faster than the Paralympic record that had held since 2008 (Juan Reyes of Mexico – 42.71).

Petracek put a scare into the world record; he’ll have to deal with its holder in the final. Petracek was just a quarter-second off Roman Zhdanov’s world record, set in 2019. Zhdanov was just .02 slower in the second heat of two, the two swimmers more than two seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.

A pair of African records went down courtesy of Egypt’s Youssef Elsayed in the men’s S3 200 freestyle (4:46.78) and Christian Sadie of South Africa in the men’s S7 50 fly (30.57).

The American delegation could finish with a flourish. Robert Griswold is the top seed in the men’s S8 100 butterfly, setting an America’s record of 1:02.52 to finish 1.43 seconds ahead of the field. Elizabeth Marks is the top seed in the women’s S6 100 back at 1:21.76, just .35 quicker than Yelyzaveta Mersehko in second place. World and Paralympic record holder Song Lingling is lurking as the fifth seed.