In her first ever race in the World Championships Anastasia Pagonis repeat did just like in her Paralympic debut in Tokyo last year. She left no chance to her rivals and won the women’s 200m medley SM11 clocking 2:49.73 on Wednesday (15 June) at Madeira 2022.
The Funchal Swimming Pools Complex also saw Italy dominate day four finals picking five gold medals and setting a new world record with Simone Barlaam in the men’s 100m freestyle S9.
Brazil and USA triumphed four times each while Czech Republic picked its first victory at this year’s World Para Swimming Championships.
“I feel awesome, I had a really fun race and to be competing after Tokyo. I’m happy to be here,” said Pagonis after her Worlds debut.
A social media star with nearly 2.7 million followers, the US Para swimmer will still have a lot to post from Portugal as she has two more races at Madeira 2022. One of them is the women’s 400m S11 which gave her the Paralympic gold last year in Japan.
“I hope to podium in the majority of my events. My goal is again a gold in the 400m. The [200m medley] gold means a lot to me,” Pagonis added.
Italy leads again
US female swimmers were responsible for the other three wins on day four. First in the water was Gia Pergolini who broke a championships record (1:04.80) in the 100m backstroke S13.
Leanne Smith finished first in the 50m backstroke S3 and Julia Gaffney in the 100m backstroke S7 taking their country’s total to 14 golds so far.
Only Italy has visited the top of the podium more often in Funchal. Five out of the Azzurri 16 golds came on Wednesday.
Barlaam showed he has a special connection with the pool in Funchal breaking his own 100m freestyle S9 world record set last year at the European Open Championships (52.23). It was his second gold at the Worlds.
Francesco Bettella triumphed in the men’s 200m freestyle S1 in the only final of the morning session and Antonio Fantin won the men’s 400m freestyle S6 in the first event of the evening session.
In the women’s races, Xenia Palazzo bagged a gold in the 100m freestyle S8 and Monica Boggioni in the 200m medley SM5.
Brazil’s Maria Carolina Santiago celebrated twice on Wednesday time, first in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB12 and later as part of the mixed 4x100m medley relay 49pts alongside Guilherme Batista, Jose Luiz Perdigao and Lucilene Sousa.
Gabriel Araujo’s second gold came with new championships record in the men’s 200m freestyle S2 (3:59.06). Mariana Ribeiro won the women’s 100m freestyle S9.
Double gold for GB, Greece
Dutch vision impaired swimmer Rogier Dorsman took his third individual gold at Madeira 2022 in the men’s 200m medley SM11 setting a new championships record (2:18.80).
Greece and Great Britain had two victories each. Dimosthenis Michalentzakis (men’s 100m freestyle S8) and Alexandra Stamatopoulou (women’s 50m backstroke S4) were responsible for the Greek golds.
Maisie-Summers Newton picked her second individual gold in Madeira in the women’s 400m freestyle S6. Team GB also won the last final of the day in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14 with Tom Hammer, Bethany Firth, Jessica-Jane Applegate and Reece Dune.
Arnost Petracek made Czech Republic’s national anthem play for the first time at the 2022 Worlds winning the men’s 50m backstroke S4 final. It was his third world title in the race, 12 years after the first one at Eindhoven 2010.
Azerbaijan, Canada, Spain, Mexico and Ukraine also topped the podium on day four. Complete results and medallists are available here.
Twenty-four gold medals will be up for grabs on day five (Thursday, 16 June).
You can follow all the action on World Para Swimming website and Facebook channel.