Paralympics, Swimming: World Records Continue to Fall

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BEIJING, China, September 8. THE 2008 Beijing Olympics might have had the fastest meet ever with Michael Phelps at the helm, but the 2008 Beijing Paralympics are answering the call with a ferocious run at the world record books.

Brazil's Andre Brasil opened the second night of swimming with a gold medal in the men's 100 fly – S10. He clocked a time of 59.13 to set the Paralympic record in the morning before posting a 56.47 for the world record at night.

American Anna Eames kept up the strong meet for the U.S. with a winning time of f1:09.44 in the women's 100 fly – S10.

Meanwhile, Sweden's Anders Olsson set a world record in the men's 100 free – S6 with a 1:05.95. In the women's side of the event, Eleanor Simmonds of Great Britain, 13, won gold in 1:18.75. She beat Mirjam de Koning-Peper of the Netherlands who took silver in 1:19.29.

Charl Bouwer of South African notched a world record in the men's 400 free – S13 with a time of 4:14.02, while the women's 400 free – S13 featured a pair of global standards. Canada's Valeria Grand Maison earned her second gold of the Games with a 4:28.64, while Russia's Anna Efimenko also cleared the previous record with a 4:37.37.

Great Britain's David Roberts notched a meet record with a 1:00.82 in the men's 100 free – S7, while Erin Popovich of the U.S. become a two-time gold medalist with a meet-record time of 1:11.82 in the women's 100 free – S7.

Mexico's Juan Reyes posted a world record in the men's 50 back – S4 preliminary session with a 42.71 before walking away with gold in 42.77 at night.

The men's 50 back – S5 followed as the world record went down several times. Brazil's Daniel Dias set the world record in the morning with a 36.46 before China's He Junquan lowered it in the next heat with a 35.04. Dias then beat out He in finals, 35.28 to 35.43. Notably, former Swimming World contributor Dave Denniston took 14th overall with a 53.07.

The women's 50 back – S5 featured Bela Hlavackova of the Czech Republic winning with a meet record time of 41.03 for her second medal overall.

Ukraine's Oleksandr Mashchenko nabbed the men's 100 breast – SB11 crown in 1:12.36 to 1:12.86, over China's Yang Bozun. Ukrainian compatriot Maksym Veraksa then broke the world record in the men's 100 breast – SB12 with a time of 1:07.46 for gold. That beat his preliminary standard of 1:08.55.

The women's 100 beast – SB12 also featured a world record. Karolina Pelendritou of Cyprus set the global standard in prelims with a 1:16.82 before winning gold in 1:17.58.

Wang Xiaofu of China, who has been called the Paralympic Michael Phelps at times, set a meet record in the men's 100 free – S8 with a time of 58.84. Meanwhile, equally dominant Jessica Long of the U.S. won her second gold medal of the meet with a time of 1:06.91 in the women's 100 free – S8 after breaking her world record in the morning with a 1:06.81.

Reigning Swimming World Magazine Disabled Male Swimmer of the Year Matthew Cowdrey won the men's 100 free – S9 with a world record time of 55.30. That beat Guo Zhi of China's standard set in prelims with a 56.24. Guo wound up taking silver in 56.13.

South Africa's Natalie du Toit then earned another gold medal with a time of 1:01.44 in the women's 100 free – S9 to close the second day of competition