It’s incredible, it’s really incredible.”
Ukrainian Yelyzaveta Mereshko rocked the pool at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships on Thursday (16 July) with a new world record, as her teammates stormed to five more golds in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Mereshko (34.14) claimed the women’s 50m freestyle S6 mark for the second time in one day, having already lowered the time in the morning session. The 22-year-old took a further 0.31 seconds off her own best.
Her teammate, and 2013 world champion, Viktoriia Savtsova (34.20) followed her onto the podium. Thirteen-year-old Australian Tiffany Thomas Kane (34.73) completed her medal collection with bronze, having won gold and silver earlier on in the Championships.
There were a further five golds and three Championships records for Ukraine at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, bringing their overall tally to 39 to take the lead in the medals table.
Yevheniy Bohodayko (2:34.46) doubled his gold medal count in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 with a new Championships record mark, claiming the win over Australian 2013 world champion Matthew Levy (2:38.12). Russia’s Andrei Gladkov (2:40.45) took bronze.
Oleksii Fedyna (1:05.25) was also in Championships record-breaking form in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB12. Azerbaijan’s Dzmitry Salei (1:06.93) and Kazakhstan’s Anuar Akhtemov (1:08.48) claimed silver and bronze respectively.
It was a Ukrainian one-two in the men’s 50m backstroke S1, as Paralympic, world and European champion Hennadii Boiko (1:07.55), led Anton Kol (1:17.23) and Greece’s Christos Tampaxis (1:24.90) onto the podium in a new Championships record time.
That was immediately followed by another gold and Championships record courtesy of 2013 champion Dmytro Vynohradets (44.16) in the men’s 50m freestyle S3. China’s Hanhua Li (44.25) just missed out on first place and Italian Vincenzo Boni (48.45) took his latest bronze.
Rounding-off the Ukrainian titles, Oleksandr Maschenko (2:29.62) overtook Spanish world champion Israel Oliver (2:30.64) in the last few metres to claim gold in the men’s 200m individual medley SM11. Japan’s Keichi Kimura (2:31.13) won his first medal with bronze.
There were three more world records across men’s and women’s events on Thursday evening.
The USA’s Rebecca Meyers stormed to her second world record and world title of the competition, retaining her 400m freestyle S13 title in stunning fashion.
“I feel amazing right now,” Meyers said. “I’m still in awe.”
Meyers (4:21.66) brought down Ukrainian silver medallist Anna Stetsenko’s (4:28.32) mark from April by more than one second, adding another chapter to their thrilling rivalry.
The win and new best is Meyers latest gold after the 20-year-old won the women’s 200m individual medley on Tuesday (14 July).
Spain’s Ariadna Edo Beltran (4:40.60) took home bronze.
World champion Maddison Elliott (1:04.71) repeated her victory from 2013 over the USA’s 22-time world champion Jessica Long (1:06.95), this time adding a new world best. Australia’s Lekeisha Patterson (1:08.05) was third.
Russia’s Denis Tarasov (55.84) beat Chinese Paralympic champion Yinan Wang (57.28) in the men’s 100m freestyle S8 with a new world record. Konstantin Lisenkov (58.48) joined his teammate Tarasov on the podium.
South Korea’s Giseong Jo (1:22.85) set a new Championships record in the men’s 100m freestyle S4. Russian Roman Zdhanov (1:23.92) and France’s David Smetanine (1:27.24) sealed silver and bronze respectively.
Brazilian powerhouse Andre Brasil (59.95) won a close men’s 100m backstroke S10 in a Championships record time for his second world title of the week and 14th career gold. He was pushed by the fastest man from the heats, Dutchman Olivier van der Voort (1:00.62), who sealed silver. Canadian legend Benoit Huot (1:01.63) rounded-out the top three.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s amazing,” Brasil said. “I’m just thinking about my son right now and I just need to stay here and carry on doing my best with all of my friends. It’s incredible, it’s really incredible.”
Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian from London 2012, Daniel Dias (35.51), now has four world titles from as many days following an excellent effort in the men’s 50m butterfly S5. Dias left it all in the pool to claim victory over US 2013 gold medallist Roy Perkins (35.67). Andrew Mullen (37.14) pleased the home crowds once again with bronze.
Belarusian Ihar Boki (3:59.48) saw off a challenge from Ukrainian Iaroslav Denysenko (4:00.69) in the men’s 400m freestyle S13 to win his fourth gold medal. Whilst Denysenko tried to capitalise on an early lead over the 12-time gold medallist, Boki turned on the style in the last 50m to pull away. Uzbekistan won their first medal with an Asian record time for bronze medallist Dmitriy Horlin (4:09.36).
Norwegian Sarah-Louise Rung (43.80) comfortably took victory in the women’s 50m butterfly S5 over Spanish rival Teresa Perales (46.05). Hungarian Kezdi Reka (46.74) finished with bronze.
“It’s a good experience and I’m happy about winning the gold,” Rung said. “It was a lot better swim this evening than this morning, so I’m happy with that.”
Spanish returning champion Sarai Gascon’s (29.41) quick reactions were enough to seal her gold in the women’s 50m freestyle S9. US swimmer Michele Konkoly (29.45) and Australian Ellie Cole (29.61) completed the line-up. Neither woman has been out of the top three in any of their races this week.
The Netherlands’ Paralympic champion Summer Mortimer (1:06.05) converted her world record-breaking performance from the morning’s women’s 100m backstroke S10 to gold. World champion from 2013, Sophie Pascoe (1:07.51), this time got silver to lead Great Britain’s Alice Tai (1:08.46) onto the podium.
“It’s definitely a nice feeling to win,” Mortimer said. “To come out with gold in one of my favourite events is really great.”
New Zealand’s world champion Mary Fisher (2:52.46) made it 3-1 over German rival Daniela Schulte (2:52.57) in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11. It was Fisher’s last 50m that made the difference, expertly executed by the 22-year-old to retain her world title.
“It’s amazing to be a world champion,” Fisher said. “I feel in a lot of ways my life is split pre-and post-London and especially in this 200m individual medley race. Whenever I’m racing against Daniela Schulte, she’s a real force to be reckoned with.”
Sweden’s Maja Reichard (2:59.10) completed the podium.
Fisher’s teammate Nikita Howarth (2:59.85) leaves a World Championships with the women’s 200m individual medley SM7 world title once again.
“I am pretty excited,” Howarth said. “It’s pretty good to do it again and I feel like I’ve really achieved something.”
Canadian Tess Routliffe (3:04.75), 16, made it onto the podium after a series of fourth-placed finishes. The USA’s Cortney Jordan (3:06.90) maintains her 100 per cent podium record with bronze.
Russia’s Alexander Skaliukh (26.48) took the spoils in a fast and furious men’s 50m freestyle S9. Japan’s Takuro Yamada (26.57) finished in silver medal position whilst Russian Aleksandr Demianenko (26.67) claimed bronze from lane one.
China’s Qing Xu (30.18) retained his world title over compatriot Tao Zheng (30.56) in the men’s 50m freestyle S6. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Komarov (32.10) was third.
Concluding the action, the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay 34 point team of Ashleigh McConnell, Lakeisha Patterson, Maddison Elliott and Ellie Cole (4:24.17) won gold. The USA (4:25.45) took silver and Great Britain (4:29.83).
At the end of day four, Ukraine have 16 golds, 15 silver and eight bronze. Russia have the same number of golds but 13 silver and seven bronze. The USA retain third place with nine world titles.
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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.
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