The first gold of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games was won in swimming on Saturday (7 August) morning with Colombia’s Brayan Urbano topping the podium in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11.
The 21-year-old, a silver medallist four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico, in breaststroke, trailed in third after the first 50m, but moved up the field throughout the race.
With 50m to go he was still over a second and a half behind race leader Yunerki Ortega of Cuba, but he put in a sensational last 50m to win in 2:39.98.
Ortega (2:41.82) had to settle for silver whilst Urbano’s teammate Leider Lemus (2:50.65) took the bronze.
The first morning of swimming saw two medal events, whilst a further 14 Parapan titles will be up for grabs this evening.
The second medal event of the day was won by Mexico’s Christopher Tronco (59.68) who beat his teammate Luis Burgos (1:03.45) to the wall in the men’s 50m freestyle S3. Bronze went to Colombia’s Fredy Diaz. Fourth place finisher Curtis Lovejoy (1:15.85) of the USA set a new Parapan record in the S2 class, one of five Games records on the first morning.
Mexico’s Nely Miranda (1:41.41) set the first record of the day in the women’s 100m freestyle S4. Miranda, a winner of the world title in this event in 2010 and 2013, broke her own Parapan record set four years ago by three seconds. The 43-year-old (43.72) also set a new Parapan record in the final heat of the morning, the women's 50m freestyle S4, an event she won the world title in last month.
Canada will be confident of landing gold when Nicolas Turbide (2:21.54) races in this evening’s 200m individual medley SM13 final after the 18-year-old set a new Parapan record in his heat.
Fourteen-year-old US swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger will also be a favourite to win gold later today after she set a new Parapan record in her heat of the 100m backstroke S8.
The finals of this evening's swimming competition will be streamed live here.