Liesette Bruinsma is a swimmer not only capable of breaking an eight-year-old world record. She can smash it by six seconds as the Dutch showed on Wednesday (15 August), day three of the Dublin 2018 World Para Swimming European Championships.
The evening with the biggest crowd so far in the Irish capital also saw a gold medal tie for the second day in a row, another Ukrainian podium sweep and a 16-year-old win her second gold in her first major international competition.
Bruinsma’s brilliance was shown in the women’s 400m freestyle S11, the second final of the day. The world record from Germany’s Daniela Schulte (5:10.77) had stood since the 2010 World Championships in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Now it belongs to a Dutch swimmer who clocked a stunning 5:04.74 at Ireland’s National Aquatic Centre. Italy took silver and bronze with Cecilia Camellini and Martina Rabbolini, respectively.
“I still can’t believe that I made it, it’s crazy. I knew I was going fast, I was feeling confident but I couldn’t imagine that I would break the world record,” said Bruinsma.
The Dutch national anthem was played twice again in Dublin on Wednesday. Marc Evers won the men’s 100m backstroke S14 (1:01.25) and Simon Boer, the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7 (1:20.67).
Golden glory for Great Britain and Germany
Two swimmers shared the top of the podium in the women’s 50m freestyle S12. Great Britain’s Hannah Russell was the favourite and lived up to expectations touching the wall in 27.94.
For Germany’s Elena Krawzow it took longer than that to realise she had also won the race.
“I had no idea. I left the pool and I thought Hannah was the winner. I was getting my things back after the race when my coaches came running and told me I had also taken first place. I couldn’t believe them, I am so happy,” said Krawzow.
Italy’s Alessia Berra took the bronze medal. For Russell, it also was an evening to remember with a victory in front of very special fans.
“My grandparents are Irish and hadn’t seen me competing since the London 2012 Paralympics. It is really nice to win here with my family watching it,” said the Briton.
There were two more British golds on day three. One from Bethany Firth in the women’s 100m backstroke S14 (1:04.23). The other saw another sensational performance from 16-year-old Maisie Summers-Newton, who won the women’s 100m breaststroke SB6 (1:33.63), setting a new world record in the process. In her first Euros she now has two golds and two world records.
The Italian fans had a lot to celebrate once again with five victories, including a new world record from Carlotta Gilli in the women’s 200m individual medley SM13 (2:22.12).
It was an emotional win for Francisco Bocciardo in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 (1:48.16). Switzerland’s Stephan Fuhrer finish second and Czech Republic’s Petr Andrysek third.
“This gold is very special because I want to dedicate it to Genoa after the tragedy in my city,” said the Italian referring to the collapse of the Morandi Bridge on Tuesday which killed 39 people.
Efrem Morelli in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB3, Arjola Trimi in the women’s 50m breaststroke SB3 and Federico Morlacchi in the men’s 100m butterfly S9 (in a one-two with Simone Barlaam) took the other Italian gold.
Ukraine’s triple podium
Ukraine maintained their lead at the top of medal standings with six gold medals and a second consecutive day with a podium sweep in Dublin.
This time gold, silver and bronze came in the men’s 50m freestyle S12. Illia Yaremenko finished first (23.64) followed by Iaroslav Denysenko and Maksym Veraska.
In the men’s side, Viktor Smyrnov (men’s 400m freestyle S11), Maksym Krypak (men’s 400m freestyle S10) and Yevheniy Bohodayko (men’s 100m breaststroke SB6) took the other victories for Ukraine.
Yelyzaveta Mereshko (women’s 100m backstroke SB4) and Oksana Khrul (women’s 100m breastroke SB7) won gold in the women’s events.
Spain topped the podium twice on Wednesday with new victories from Antoni Ponce Bertran, in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB5, and from Sarai Gascon, in the women’s 100m butterfly S9.
Poland won their first gold medals with Michal Golus in the men’s 50m freestyle S8 and Oliwia Jablonska in the women’s 400m freestyle S10.
There was also a first gold for France through Claire Supiot in the women’s 50m freestyle S8.
In the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4, Fanni Illes gave Hungary their second victory in the Euros.
Multi-Paralympic champion Ihar Boki took his third gold for Belarus this time in the men’s 200m individual medley SM13.
The European Championships will have 19 finals on Thursday (16 August). The competition continues until Sunday.
Full results and a complete schedule can be found on the Dublin 2018 website.
You can watch day four live on the World Para Swimming website and Facebook page.