Two world records were broken on the final day (7 December) of competition at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City.
Italy’s 2017 World Series champion Monica Boggioni set a new world record of 2:41.52 in the women’s 150m individual medley SM3-4. This was the 19-year-old’s third gold at Mexico City 2017, where she also took two silvers.
It was a dramatic victory for the Italian, who beat China's Jiao Cheng into silver by just 0.15 seconds. Both swimmers had to wait for several minutes to discover who won the race after the poolside results board failed to reset.
The other world record was set by South Korea’s Rio 2016 gold medallist Inkook Lee in the men’s 100m butterfly S4. He clocked 57.78, lowering Dutch swimmer Marc Evers’ world record by 0.61.
His compatriot Wonsang Cho (1:01.27) won silver and Brazil’s Felipe Vila Real (1:01.47) collected bronze.
Boki and Long end with perfect record
Both the US and Belarusian swimmers won their final events to end the World Championships undefeated.
Thirteen-time Paralympic champion Long won the women’s 200m individual medley SM8 with a time of 2:49.93, ahead of compatriot Julia Gaffney (3:07.08) and Mexico’s Luz Lopez Valdez (3:14.94).
She had previously claimed gold in the 100m breaststroke SB7, 100m and 400m freestyle S8, 100m backstroke S8, 100m butterfly S8 and 200m individual medley SM8.
Long also won two gold medals as part of the US team in the 4x100m freestyle relay 34pts and the 4x100m medley relay 34pts, leaving Mexico City with nine world titles to match her haul at the 2006 Worlds.
“It was awesome, it has been a really wonderful World Championships experience. I could not ask for anything better,” said Lond.
Belarus’ most successful Paralympian Ihar Boki was fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle S13 to end the World Championships with seven individual golds for the first time in his career.
The 23-year-old had already won the 100m backstroke S13, 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle S13, 100m butterfly S13, 100m breaststroke SB13 and 200m individual medley SM13.
Golden day for Italy and Colombia
Italy claimed four titles on the final day. As well as Boggioni’s record-breaking win, Efrem Morelli claimed his second gold in Mexico City in the men’s 150m individual medley SM4. Francesco Bettela emerged triumphant in the men’s 100m backstroke S1 and Federico Morlacchi took gold in the men’s 400m freestyle S9 to take Italy’s overall medal tally to 38.
“It was a tough race, it is not easy to swim in the altitude but I am very happy with the result,” said Morlacchi.
Colombia wrapped up a successful World Championships with three more gold medals through Carlos Serrano in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7, and Nelson Crispin in both the men’s 50m freestyle S6 and 200m individual medley SM6.
Chinese dominate closing session
Lingling Song (women’s 200m individual medley SM6), Xu Haijiao (men’s 200m individual medley SM8), Huang Wenpan (men’s 150m individual medley SM3) and Zou Liankang (men’s 100m backstroke S2) gave China the last four individual golds of Mexico City 2017.
They then went on to win the final race of the World Championships in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay 20pts to finish top of the medals table with 30 golds, 16 silvers and 10 bronze, ahead of the USA (21-20-13) and Italy (20-10-8).
More information on the World Para Swimming Championships, including live coverage, results and athlete profiles can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.