"My goal was to go a 28.6, which would have put me back at first in the world and I thought that was a very aggressive goal. I am so happy with my swim."
The USA’s Michelle Konkoly stunned the Mecklenburg County Aquatics Centre on Friday (1 July), setting a new women’s 50m freestyle S9 world record of 28.24 seconds at the 2016 US Paralympic Trials.
Konkoly broke the record in both the preliminary and final rounds of the competition.
Konkoly entered the meet with the third best time in the world this year with a mark of 29.38, trailing only Sarai Gascon of Spain and Australian former world record holder Ellie Cole. Sparks flew early for Konkoly as she smashed Cole's record in the morning session of the meet with a time of 28.37. The Georgetown University alum then lowered her own world best with a 28.24 in the final.
"I had pretty high expectations for myself," Konkoly said. "My goal was to go a 28.6, which would have put me back at first in the world and I thought that was a very aggressive goal. I am so happy with my swim."
Alyssa Gialamas and Tucker Dupree joined their teammate in the history books, each posting new national and regional records in their respective classes.
Gialamas crafted a stellar 50m backstroke in the women’s S5 class, touching the wall at 47.47. The 2012 Paralympian cut a full second off her preliminary time in the opening event of the finals, setting the stage for a historic night in front of a packed house.
Dupree closed the last session of day two with a lightning-quick 24.03 in the men’s 50m freestyle S12, improving his 24.20 from the morning edition. Dupree took bronze in the event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and is striving to make his third US Paralympic team.
Gialamas was one of three swimmers to leave the pool with multiple first-place finishes, joined by Noga Nir-Kistler and Lucas McCrory.
Seventeen-time Paralympic medallist Jessica Long claimed a victory in the women's 100m butterfly S8 and US Navy veteran and two-time Paralympic gold medallist Brad Snyder erased three seconds off his preliminary time to win the men's 100m butterfly S11.
Competition concludes on Saturday (2 July) with prelims and finals in the 150m individual medley, 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. For full results, visit US Paralympics website
All records are subject to ratification by IPC Swimming.
The 2016 US Paralympic Team Trials – Swimming and Track & Field are being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 30 June – 2 July, and are hosted by Partners for Parks. Thanks to support from The Coca-Cola Company, BP, and Deloitte, the multi-sport trials feature more than 400 athletes who are competing for a chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
All events are free and open to the public.