"The more events I race, the more I get into the competition.’’
Swimmers Amber Thomas of Canada and Jessica Long of USA will be some of the busiest athletes at the Paralympic Games, which get underway on 29 August in London, and they are looking forward to the challenge.
Thomas showed her preparation for the Games are on track on Sunday (22 July) with first-place finishes in the 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly at the 2012 Can-Am Swimming Championships.
In London, the 18-year-old student is scheduled to race in six events: the 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
She lost her sight at age 10 and competes in the S11 class for visually impaired swimmers.
"The more events I race, the more I get into the competition,’’ Thomas told Swimming Canada. "We thought about possibly scratching a race but in the end the schedule works out well. So I’m pretty excited about it.’’
Thomas competed at age 14 at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, where she placed seventh in the 100m freestyle, and now with Games experience under her belt, she hopes to smash records in London.
Long, meanwhile, broke two world records at the meet, pending ratification by IPC Swimming. The American posted a time of 32.89 in the 50m butterfly S8 to eclipse the 32.98 mark she set at June’s US Paralympic Trials.
She then swam the 100m butterfly S8 on the final day of competition in a new world-best time of 1:10.77, cementing herself as the swimmer to beat in the event at the Paralympics.
Elsewhere, Canada’s Nathan Stein came out strong, winning three races in one night on Friday. In the S10 class, he finished first in the 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke events.
USA’s Justin Zook also had top performances with first-place finishes in the 50m butterfly S9 and 50m freestyle S9.