“I was told to swim like it was a final and if I thought it was good in the last 50m to control it, but I saw my split and I didn’t really think about it, I just went hard into the wall and there it was.
The Netherlands’ Paralympic champion surprised herself with a new world record in the heats of the women’s 100m backstroke S10 on Thursday (16 July), at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Mortimer (1:05.86) finished more than two seconds ahead of New Zealand’s Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Pascoe (1:08.13) to lower the mark by 0.04 seconds, and put herself in pole position for this evening’s finals.
Mortimer was incredibly shocked by the world record, stating she had no idea where it came from: “Who the hell knows?!” she said, laughing. “I was told to swim like it was a final and if I thought it was good in the last 50m to control it, but I saw my split and I didn’t really think about it, I just went hard into the wall and there it was.
“The fact that I just did that time, it’s been a long time coming and it makes me very, very pleased.”
Great Britain’s third-fastest qualifier Alice Tai (1:09.23) is also in with a chance of a podium.
Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko (34.45) proved she is sensationally good in the sprints, setting a new world record in the women’s 50m freestyle S6. Mereshko caused a shock on the opening day of competition (13 July) by beating British multiple world and Paralympic champion Eleanor Simmonds in the 400m freestyle S6.
Her world champion teammate Viktoriia Savtsova (34.79) was second fastest, leading Australian Tiffany Kane (34.80) to a new Oceania record and China’s Lingling Song (36.26) to a new Asian record.
Ukrainian Anna Stetsenko (4:29.68) has been amongst the medals all week, and broke a Championships record in her women’s 400m freestyle heat. US World champion Rebecca Myers (4:35.81) follows her into the finals.
Oleksii Fedyna (1:06.92) also swam well for Ukraine in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB12. Azerbaijan’s Dzmitry Salei (1:07.54) and Kazakhstani Anuar Akhmetov (1:08.88).
Seven-time world champion from the 2013 edition Dmytro Vynohradets (45.94) rounded off the Ukrainian fastest qualifiers in the men’s 50m freestyle S3.
Dutch 17-year-old Olivier van der Voort (1:00.27), who lost his lower left leg in a horse-riding accident in 2009, qualified fastest in the men’s 100m backstroke S10 with a new Championships record.
There was little to separate Australian Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Michael Anderson (1:02.33) and Brazilian powerhouse Andre Brasil (1:02.78) for second and third.
World and Paralympic champion Ihar Boki (4:01.16) cruised through the men’s 400m freestyle S13 heats as the fastest qualifier, on track to claim his fourth gold medal in as many days. Ukraine’s 2013 silver medallist Iaroslav Denysenko (4:04.48) goes through second.
Australian 2013 gold medallist Maddison Elliott (1:06.23) was the fastest qualifier in the women’s 100m freestyle S8 heat, ahead of Paralympic champion Jessica Long (1:08.03). Elliott’s teammate Lakeisha Patterson (1:08.88) was third.
Elliott’s teammate Ellie Cole (29.75) leads out a women’s 50m freestyle S9 that includes the USA’s Michele Konkoly (29.83) and Spanish world champion Sarai Gascon (30.09).
“A bit slower than I planned,” Cole said. “I went out hoping to get near my PB but I was half a second over I qualified first for the final tonight.
“It gets interesting in the S9 class – obviously you have the arm amps [amputees] against the leg amputees so there’s a bit of rivalry there.”
World champion Matthew Levy (2:42.71) continued a great Australian performance with the fastest qualifying time in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7. The USA’s Rudy Garcia-Tolson (2:45.22), who is also a T42 runner, was second and Ukrainian Yevheniy Bohodayko (2:46.03) third.
Norway’s multiple world and Paralympic champion Sarah-Louise Rung (46.55) led Spain’s Teresa Perales (46.83) in the women’s 50m butterfly S5. Brazilian Joana Maria Silva (48.39) was third.
Spanish world champion Israel Oliver (2:31.51) is in the hunt for his first medal of the Championships in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11. Japan’s Keichi Kimura (2:33.44) and Ukrainian Oleksandr Mashchenko (2:35.28) completed the top three.
German Daniela Schulte (2:55.38) will continue her battle with New Zealand’s Mary Fisher (2:57.18) in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11 final having out-qualified the world champion.
Russian Denis Tarasov (59.35) will lead out a tightly packed field featuring China’s Paralympic champion Yinan Wang (59.46) in the men’s 100m freestyle S8, and compatriot Konstantin Lisenkov (59.52).
Russia’s Alexander Skaliukh (26.72), Hungary’s Tamas Toth (26.83) and Japan’s Takaro Yamada (26.90) were the top three in the men’s 50m freestyle S9.
New Zealand’s world champion Nikita Howarth (3:01.83) heads through as the fastest woman in the 200m individual medley SM7.
South Korea’s Giseong Jo (1:24.48) and Russia’s Roman Zhdanov (1:26.64) will go head-to-head once again in the men’s 100m freestyle S4, whilst Mexico’s Gustavo Sanchez Martinez (1:28.58) qualifies third. Slovenia world champion Darko Duric (1:30.00) managed fifth.
Chinese world champion Qing Xu (31.65) was fastest in the men’s 50m freestyle S6 ahead of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Kokarev (32.51) and Xu’s teammate Tao Zheng (32.57).
US world champion Roy Perkins (35.89), was quickest in the men’s 50m butterfly S5 ahead of Brazilian Daniel Dias (37.21) and Great Britain’s Andrew Mullen (37.67).
Race footage is available directly from IPC Swimming, as well as daily newsfeeds x 2 (following News Access Rules) for non-rights holders. For more information contact [email protected].
Pictures are available at the IPC's Flickr account. High resolution versions are available on request from [email protected].
The 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, which run until 19 July, will feature around 580 athletes from nearly 70 countries and will be one of the biggest qualification opportunities for Rio 2016.
Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015 and all seven days of action will be shown live at Glasgow2015.com alongside live results between 13-19 July.
Fans can also follow @IPCSwimming on Twitter and Facebook and Paralympics Instagram for behind-the-scenes updates and pictures.