Germany Almost Walks on Water With Five Golds in Berlin

07 Jul 2011 By IPC

Host nation Germany enjoyed their best day yet at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming European Championships in Berlin taking home five gold medals on a day when a number of world and European records were broken.

In 23 medal events on Thursday evening, the Germans also took home two silver medals to compliment their haul of gold and move them from eighth to fifth in the overall medal table.

Thursday was also a record breaking day with a total of five world and six European records broken, the most yet after five days of competition. In total 19 world and 18 European records have now been rewritten in Berlin.

Germany’s first gold medal winner was in the second race, the Women’s 400m Freestyle S12, and 17-year-old Naomi Maike Schnittger (4:46.14) sent the home crowd wild. She was followed by Spain’s Deborah Font (4:48.50) and Russia’s Darya Stukalova (4:50.00).

Home crowds were even more jubilant after the fifth race when Stefanie Weinberg (1:21.18) stole the gold in a close race in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S8. She was followed by Russia’s Ksenia Sogomonyan (1:21.67) and Britain’s Emma Hollis (1:22.26).

The German national anthem played out for a third time when Niels Grunenberg (1:37.40) took gold in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB5 (SB4,SB5), the 10th race of the evening. World number one, Anders Olsson (1:38.10) from Sweden had to settle for silver, while Spain’s Ricardo Ten took bronze (1:38.18).

In the very next race Germany’s Kirsten Bruhn (1:36.15) secured her first gold of the Championships in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB5. She was followed by France’s Rachel Lardiere (1:56.55) and Fanni Illes of Hungary took bronze (1:57.27).

The German crowd had hoped world record holder Bruhn (1:26.52) could become the first swimmer of the event to secure two individual gold medals in one day. However, it wasn’t to be with the multi-Paralympic medal winner taking silver in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S7. Gold went to Great Britain’s Susannah Rodgers (1:26.09) and bronze Italy’s Arianna Talamona came third (1:32.53).

Germany’s golden girl Daniela Schulte (1:24.63) secured the home nation’s fifth gold of the day, when she made it a hat-trick of personal gold medals in the Women’s 100m Butterfly S11. Sweden’s Maja Reichard (1:27.01), ranked world number one, took silver and bronze went to Ukraine’s Olga Iakibiuk (1:33.00).

Adding to Germany’s medal haul was Ludwig Lucas (25.42) who took silver in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S10. Gold went to European record holder David Levecq of Spain (25.08) and Britain’s Graham Edmunds won bronze (25.61).

Aside from Germany’s heroics on day five, there were also a number of record breaking performances.

Having broken his own European record in this morning’s heats, Russia’s Dmitry Kokarev (2:12.88) broke it again to win his third gold of the Championships with victory in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S2. Silver went to Greece’s Aristeidis Makrodimitris of Greece (2:18.13) and Great Britain’s James Anderson (2:20.62) took his second bronze of the competition.

The dual everyone was talking about on day five though was the one between Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung and Ukraine’s Natalia Prologaieva who went head-to-head in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB4.

In the morning heats Prologaieva (1:49.91) broke the Norwegian’s world record only for Rung (1:49.33) to claim it back in the very next race.

The final saw World champion Rung (1:48.22), lower her record further to take gold ahead of silver medalist Prologaieva (1:49.17).

Great Britain’s Jonathan Fox (1:10.45) bettered his own world record, his second of the week, when he finished the Men’s 100m Backstroke S7. Mihovil Spanja (1:13.45) from Croatia took silver and bronze went to Ukraine’s Ievgen Poltavskyi (1:14.81).

Stephanie Millward (4:42.23) from Great Britain broke her own European record in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S9. Hot on her heels was Croatia’s Sanja Milojevic (4:45.57). Great Britain’s Louise Watkin (4:54.54), who has already won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, took another bronze in this race.

Elodie Lorandi (28.88) of France smashed the European record and took her fourth gold of the competition in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S10. Slovakia’s Viera Mikulasikova (29.73) came second and Spain’s Esther Morales (29.95) took bronze.

Ukraine’s Olga Sviderska (2:03.81) set a new European record when she won the Women’s 100m Freestyle S3. Second was her teammate Olena Istomania (2:10.04). Fran Williamson (2:21.63) from Great Britain took her second bronze of the competition.

Another Ukrainian gold went to Iryna Sotska (2:27.84) who took her second gold of the competition in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S2 (S1,S2). She was followed by her teammate Darya Kopayeva (2:37.37) and Greece’s Maria Kalpakidou (2:54.97) took bronze.

Medal table toppers Ukraine took another gold when Dmytro Vynohradets (1:40.41) took his fourth gold of the competition in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S3. Silver went to Greece’s Ioannis Kostakis (1:42.91) and Russia’s Andrey Meshcheryakov (1:43.94) took bronze.

In the Men’s 400m Freestyle S12, Russia’s Sergey Punko (4:10.41), the world record holder as well as world and Paralympic gold medalist, powered to the finish line, taking gold. Spain’s Enrique Floriano (4:17.83) settled for silver, followed by Italy’s Fabrizio Sottile (4:28.00).

In the Men’s 100m Freestyle S1, Israel’s world-record holder and world champion swimmer Itzhak Mamistvalov (2:31.49), took gold. Silver went to Greece’s Christos Tampaxis (2:54.59) and Portugal’s Joao Martins (3:31.08) won bronze.

The Men’s 100m Butterfly S8 was a closely fought race but in the end world number one Charles Rozoy (1:01.78), who bettered his own European record in the morning race, prevailed to stand atop the podium. He was followed by Denis Tarasov (1:03.45) of Russia, who added another silver to his gold and two silvers already won in this competition. Tarasov’s teammate Mikhail Sidnin (1:05.60) came third.

World champion Ihar Boki (4:07.28) of Belarus now has four gold medals after his most recent success in the Men’s 400m Freestyle S13. Silver went to Ukraine’s Danylo Chufarov (4:18.22) and Russia’s Alexander Golintovskiy took bronze (4:18.40).

Spain’s World champion Enhamed Enhamed (1:03.91) fought a close battle in Men’s 100m Butterfly S11 but could only take silver. In the last leg, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Maschenko (1:03.54) edged ahead to take gold. His teammate Viktor Smyrnov (1:04.86) took bronze.

In the Men’s 400m Freestyle S9, Spain’s Jose Antonio Mari Alcaraz (4:19.94) claimed his second gold of the competition. Croatia’s Kristijan Vincetic (4:22.80) took silver just 0.08 seconds ahead of his British rival James Crisp (4:22.88).

Following the conclusion of 21 individual medal events, Thursday came to thrilling climax with two breathtaking relay races

With 10m to go, Ukraine and Spain were neck and neck in the Men’s 200m Medley Relay 20pt. However it was Spain (2:40.79), who finished the day third in the medal table, who took gold with Ukraine (2:40.79) the silver. Bronze went to the Russian team (2:52.14).

To top off possibly the best day of swimming so far in Berlin, Ukraine (3:04.87) smashed the world record in the Women’s 200m Medley Relay 20pt, the final event of the day. Hungary was second (3:31.80) and Spain (3:40.79) third.

After five days of competition, Ukraine sit pretty at the top of the medal table with 74 medals, consisting of 30 golds, 26 silver and 18 bronze.