China continued their impressive form on the pool on day four (5 December) of the World Para Swimming World Championships, claiming a world record, championship record and two more golds to cement their place at the top of the medals table.
The world record came in the women’s 50m breaststroke SB3, where China’s Jiao Cheng (52.65) left Italy’s World Series winner Monica Boggioni trailing in second (54.83) and Mexico’s Patricia Valle in third (1:00.82).
China’s second gold of the night went to Lingling Song, who set a championship record on her way to winning the women’s 100m backstroke S6 (1:24.47). Mexico’s Vianney Delgaldillo (1:35.05) took the silver and USA’s Sophia Herzog (1:40.01) the bronze. It is Song’s third gold of the 2017 Worlds.
The home fans turned up in great numbers for the evening session, but had to wait almost until the end of the day to hear the national anthem. It was worth the wait for the ecstatic crowd, who saw Naomi Somellera beat USA’s three-time Paralympic champion McKenzie Coan by only 0.20 to dramatically win the women’s 50m butterfly S7.
It is the 19-year-old Mexican’s first world title following her silver in the 100m breaststroke SB7 on day two. Somellera clocked 37.76 against Coan’s 37.96. Spain’s Judit Rolo Marchial took the bronze medal (40.15).
Honours even for Meyers and Gilli
Another attraction on day four was the 1-1 tie between Italy’s Carlotta Gilli and USA’s Rebecca Meyers. After losing to Gilli in the women’s 100m freestyle S13 and the 100m butterfly S12-13, Meyers took her first gold in Mexico City in the 400m freestyle S13 (4:32.65).
Gilli finished second (4:42.71) with Spain’s Ariadna Edo third (4:52.39). But the Italian came back to conquer her third gold in Mexico City breaking the championship record in the women’s 50m freestyle S13 (27.03). Poland’s Joanna Mendak got the silver (28.60) and Spain’s Marian Polo Lopez the bronze (29.08) leaving Meyers out of the podium.
Four golds each
Colombia’s Carlos Serrano and Brazil’s Daniel Dias both took their gold medal tally to four on day four. Serrano won the men’s 100m breaststroke S7 in the morning and then returned in the evening session to win the 50m butterfly S7.
Dias’ fourth gold and 28th world title came in the men’s 50m freestyle S5. The victory meant the Brazilian kept the promise made to his sons Asaph and Daniel to bring them two golds each from Mexico.
Best of the rest
On the women’s side, USA’s Jessica Long reached her 26th overall World title in the 100m backstroke S8. It was Long’s third gold in Mexico City following victories in the 100m breaststroke SB7 and 100m freestyle S8.
South Korea had one medal after three days of competition but made it three in one single event. Wonsang Cho clocked 2:00.66 to beat his countryman and Paralympic champion Inkook Lee (2:03.18) in the men’s 200m freestyle S14. Brazil’s Felipe Caltran was third (2:03.74).
Argentina took its first gold medal in the 2017 World Championships in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB9 with Daniela Gimenez. And the day could not finish without more gold medals from Ihar Boki. The Belarussian triumphed in both the men’s 50m freestyle S13 and in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB13.
More information on the World Para Powerlifting Championships, including live coverage, results and athlete profiles can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.