Mexico City 2017: McKenzie Coan vs. Denise Grahl

Germany’s Rio 2016 silver medallist aims to prevent US swimmer from winning first world title 24 Nov 2017
two female Para swimmers stand on the podium with their medals

Coan (L) and Grahl will renew their S7 rivalry from Rio 2016 at the World Championships

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McKenzie Coan (32.42) won her maiden Paralympic title in a thrilling women’s 50m freestyle S7 race at Rio 2016, closely ahead of Denise Grahl who clocked 33.16.

After such an exciting final, much is expected from Coan and Grahl when they swim against each other once again at the Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships, from 2-7 December.

Even though the US swimmer will start as favourite to win her first World title, the German is also hungry for further success after claiming one bronze at the latest edition of the Worlds in Glasgow, Great Britain, in 2015.

In Mexico City they will also meet in the women’s 100m and 400m freestyle S7, and the 50m butterfly S6-7.

Head to Head


Coan: Nationality: USA. Age: 21

Grahl: Nationality: Germany. Age: 24


Coan: Games: 2 (2012, 2016)

Medals: 4 (3 golds, 1 silver)

Grahl: Games: 1 (2016)

Medals: 1 (1 silver)


Coan: Championships: 1 (2015)

Medals: 1 (1 silver)

Grahl: Championships: 1 (2015)

Medals: 1 (1 bronze)


Coan: “I have to have plain Cheerios and Peanut Butter before I go to the ready room. It is silly but it's become a ritual and when I don't eat it before I race I feel unprepared and like my routine is off.”

Grahl: Was born with Schmid metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, a condition which causes shortening of the limbs

All Head to Heads can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.