Dias breaks record, Portugal wins first medal at swimming Euros

A new world record for Ukraine's Dubrov and European marks for Russia's Zhdanov and Spain's Gascon also highlightened the competition in Funchal, Portugal. 05 May 2016
Close up of man with swim cap

Daniel Dias, Brazil, at the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal

ⒸPedro Vasconcelos

“Last year I was already fighting for this world record and last year it didn’t happen. But it happened today and that gives me the motivation that I need for the preparation for Rio.”

Brazil’s 10-time Paralympic champion Daniel Dias broke his own 50m backstroke S5 world record at the 2016 IPC Swimming European Open Championships on Thursday (5 May), showing the world that he is still the man to beat at his home Paralympic Games this September.

Dias’s previous best of 34.99 had stood since he won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. On Thursday he lowered it by 0.04 seconds, touching in at 34.95 with just over four months until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“It was very good, I’m really happy,” Dias said. “Last year I was already fighting for this world record and last year it didn’t happen. But it happened today and that gives me the motivation that I need for the preparation for Rio.”

Great Britain’s Andrew Mullen (37.92) left with the European gold and Open silver. Vietnam’s Thanh Tung Vo (39.60) took Open bronze ahead of Hungary’s Zsolt Vereczkei (40.21) with the European silver. Denmark’s Jonas Larsen (41.67) left with European bronze.

David Grachat won Portugal’s first medal of the Championships with a massive push in the men’s 100m freestyle S9, delighting the crowds who urged him to the wall in one of the most exciting races of the evening.

Italy’s European champion Federico Morlacchi (56.99) worked his way up from sixth place to claim the gold. Brazil’s Vanilton Filho (57.92) secured the Open silver as Great Britain’s Lewis White (58.07) took European silver. Grachat dramatically tied with Croatia’s Kristijan Vincetic (58.38) to share the European bronze and had tears in his eyes as he received his medal.

Ukraine’s world and European champion Denys Dubrov broke the men’s 200m individual medley SM10 world record, lowering the mark of nine-time Canadian Paralympic champion Benoit Huot from 2012.

The Ukrainian overtook Brazil’s Andre Brasil at 100m, extending his lead in the last 50m to touch in at 2:08.71. Huot’s mark from the London 2012 Paralympic Games was 2:10.01.

Dubrov’s teammate Dmytro Vazenko also had an excellent race, coming back from fourth with an excellent freestyle leg to touch in at 2:15.80. Brasil (2:16.01) took Open bronze and Russia’s Dmitry Grigoryev (2:17.66) secured the remaining regional medal in third.

Russia’s Roman Zhdanov (2:29.89) shaved nearly five seconds off the 14-year-old European record of Spain’s five-time Paralympic gold medallist Xavier Torres on his way to the title in the men’s 150m individual medley SM4.

A strong performance from the 17-year-old Russian saw him beat Denmark’s Jonas Larsen (2:32.19) into silver for his third gold medal of the week. The Czech Republic’s Jan Povysil (2:40.04) was third.

Ukraine’s Viktoriia Savtsova (32.98) broke the women’s 50m freestyle S6 world record for the second time in the space of eight hours to win gold. In doing so, she claimed the European title of her teammate Yelyzaveta Mereshko (33.43) who settled for silver. Great Britain’s Eleanor Robinson (35.43) was third.

Ukraine’s Mariia Lafina (2:57.69) took gold in the women’s 150m individual medley SM4. Her teammate Olga Sviderska (3:01.38) broke the SM3 world record with her silver medal performance for the second time in one day, having already lowered it in the heats.

Russia’s Natalia Gavrilyuk (3:20.91) was third.

Belarusian world and Paralympic champion Ihar Boki (3:56.97) brought his gold medal count to four in the men’s 400m freestyle S13. He made his move on Ukrainian silver medallist Iaroslav Denysenko (3:59.99) on the turn into the last 100m. Russia’s Sergey Punko (4:13.13) was third.

“It was very tough. It wasn’t my best time but I will do better in Rio,” Denysiuk said.

Spain’s European and world champion Teresa Perales (43.50) secured her first gold medal of the Championships in the women’s 50m backstroke S5 in a new personal best time.

The Czech Republic’s Bela Trebinova (45.14) was second, ahead of Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung (45.32).

Sarai Gascon (1:02.81) set a new European record in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 for her fourth individual gold medal of the meet. Gascon has been in incredible form this week, winning her latest race over compatriot Nuria Marques Soto (1:04.14). British European champion Stephanie Millward (1:05.26) was third.

European title holder Israel Oliver (2:24.66) won Spain’s latest gold in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11. The Ukrainian duo of Oleksandr Mashchenko (2:30.75) and Viktor Smyrnov (2:33.68) were second and third respectively.

The Netherlands’ Liesette Bruinsma (2:54.17) secured gold in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11 with her freestyle leg.

“I hit the lane divider a few times so that put me off but I managed to catch-up in the last leg,” Bruinsma said. “I am happy!”

The 15-year-old proved that she is a name to fear in 2016, finishing ahead of Maja Reichard (2:55.42) and Germany’s European champion Daniela Schulte (2:56.60).

Russia had another great night in the pool, adding three more titles to bring their medal total to 21 golds, 21 silver and 19 bronze and keep their second place.

It was an all-Russian top three in the women’s 100m backstroke S8 as Mariia Pavlova (1:20.42), Olesia Vladykina (1:22.00) and Kseniia Sogomonian (1:24.29) dominated.

European title holder Nina Ryabova (2:30.94) notched her third gold of the Championships in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10. Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (2:31.94) got the Open silver, whilst Hungary’s Bianka Pap left with the European silver and Open bronze. Dutchwoman Chantalle Zijderveld (2:33.67) left with the European bronze.

More gold came for Russia in the men’s 400m freestyle S7 courtesy of European and world champion Andrei Gladkov (4:52.52). He dominated from the start to lead Norway’s Andreas Skaar Bjornstad (4:58.40) into silver. Argentina’s Facundo Jose Arrigui (5:01.03) took Open bronze and Ukraine’s Marian Kvasnytsia (5:01.33) secured the final place on the European podium.

Ukraine added three more golds in other races to cement their place at the top of the medals table with 28 gold, 26 silver and 15 bronze.

Anna Stetsenko (4:27.34) was victorious in the women’s 400m freestyle S13 for her third gold medal. Germany’s Naomi Schnittger (4:41.32) was second and Spain’s Ariadna Edo Beltran (4:41.90) was third. Uzbekistan’s Shokshsanamkhon Toshpulatova (4:44.04) broke the Asian record with her fourth place finish.

World and European champion Dmytro Vynohradets (2:59.61) came back from a poor start in the men’s 150m individual medley SM3 and never looked back. He overtook Russian silver medallist Alexander Makarov (3:21.00) who finished ahead of Sweden’s Mikael Frederiksson (3:24.58) in third.

Ievgen Panibratets (59.71) took the men’s 50m freestyle S2 title ahead of teammate Serhii Palamarchuk (1:00.17), who both beat reigning European champion Dmitrii Kokarev (1:00.26) of Russia.

Ukraine (2:30.26) ended the night with a new European record and gold in the mixed 4 x 50m freestyle relay 20 points, ahead of Brazil (2:32.19) and Italy (2:33.61).

Great Britain’s Susannah Rodgers (5:27.16) kept her title in emphatic style in the women’s 400m freestyle S7, leading from the start. Germany’s Verena Schott (5:40.59) claimed silver and Italy’s Arianna Talamona (5:41.46) was third.

“It was strong. Time wise I’d like it to be a bit quicker but I’m working on that event,” Rodgers said.

Oliver Hynd (1:06.56), the Paralympic and Worlds bronze medallist, sealed gold for Great Britain in the men’s 100m backstroke S8. Ukraine’s Iurii Bozhynskyi (1:10.35) grabbed the European silver. Argentina’s Pipo Carlomagno (1:10:01) took the Open bronze whilst Denmark’s Niels Kortfitz Mortensen (1:10.02) claimed the European bronze.

Norway’s Ingrid Thunem (54.31) was the victor in the women’s 50m freestyle S2, taking her first gold ahead of Singapore’s Pin Xiu Yip (1:01.00).

Yip swam to a new Asian record for Open silver whilst Russia’s Alexander Agafonova (1:06.83) left with European silver and Open bronze.

Ukraine’s Iryna Sotska (1:11.42) completed the European podium.

Colombia’s Nelson Crispin (29.50) won Open gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S6, his third victory of the week. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Komarov (31.19) took the European gold ahead of Greece’s Pangiotis Christakis (31.84) with Open bronze and European silver. Germany’s European champion Sebastian Iwanow took European bronze (32.25).

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