“Usually in the morning I take it easy, and I hope in the afternoon I will be better and there will be a good fight,”
A series of world-class swimmers are in the running to add to their multiple medal hauls after the heats at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, on Saturday (18 July).
Headlining tonight’s finals will be Brazilian Daniel Dias, who is going for his sixth gold in as many days in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4.
Despite being out-qualified by Antonios Tsapatakis (1:36.33), who set a new Championships record, and Colombian world champion Moises Fuentes Garcia (1:39.83), Dias (1:39.96) was relaxed.
“Usually in the morning I take it easy, and I hope in the afternoon I will be better and there will be a good fight,” Dias said. “I think it’s a great competition and I don’t worry about how many golds I have or don’t have.”
Tsapatakis meanwhile was delighted with his record: “This is what we have been waiting for. This is our dream and now it has become a reality. I am confident for this evening because I have something in reserve.”
Norway’s Sarah Louise Rung could add two golds after qualifying fastest in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4 (1:48.43) and the 200m individual medley SM5 (3:22.62).
As well as trying to retain his world title, Belarusian superstar Ihar Boki (51.33) will attempt to add a fifth gold medal to his haul in the men’s 100m freestyle S13. Ukrainian Iaroslav Denysenko (52.63) touched in second fastest ahead of Azerbaijan’s Dzmitry Salei (53.37).
The USA’s Jessica Long (1:23.11) will go for her fifth gold medal of Glasgow 2015 in the women’s 100m backstroke S8 as the fastest qualifier.
“It’s going to be a really fun race tonight,” Long said. “I think the Australian girls are going to be really tough.”
Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (1:00.34) set a new Americas record to qualify fastest in the women’s 100m freestyle S10, ahead of New Zealand’s world and Paralympic champion Sophie Pascoe (1:01.02). Rivard is on the hunt for her second gold medal of the week over Pascoe. The Netherlands’ Summer Mortimer (1:02.02) is also looking for her second medal.
“I didn’t push so hard and I did a PB [personal best] and a record,” Rivard said. “So I’m really delighted with that. Hopefully tonight I can break one minute, let’s see.”
Pascoe said: “I just went out and controlled the swim. It’s going to be a close race tonight. I’m really happy with that swim and tonight it’s about giving everything.”
Russia’s Dmitri Kokarev (4:25.82) was in good form in the men’s 200m freestyle S2, shaving an incredible 13 seconds off of Chinese Paralympic champion’s Yang Yang’s previous Championships record. Ukraine’s Serhii Palarmarchuk (4:32.84) was second fastest and Yang third (4:33.45).
China’s Guofen Meng (53.99) set a new Championships record in the first heat of the women’s 50m backstroke S3, before the Netherlands’ Lisette Teunissen (53.09) broke it again to go fastest in heat two.
The world’s fastest para-swimmers were in action in the men’s 50m freestyle S12 and did not disappoint. Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei (24.29) just pipped Ukraine’s Oleksii Fedyna (24.30) to the wall, whilst world record holder and reigning world champion Maksym Veraksa (24.40) was third.
Great Britain’s Hannah Russell (27.93) was fastest in the women’s event, just leading Russian world champion Darya Stukalova (27.99) and German Naomi Maike Schnittger (28.90).
Sweden’s Paralympic, world and European champion Maja Reichard (1:28.16) looks confident of keeping the gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB11, her favourite event. Whilst Reichard has held the world title since 2010, 18 year-old Ukrainian Yana Berezhna (1:31.90) is looking for her first 2015 Championships medal.
Australian world and Paralympic champion Brendan Hall (4:21.18) was the fastest man in the men’s 400m freestyle S9.
China’s ‘armless swimmer’ Tao Zheng (1:14.76) is the favourite to keep his men’s 100m backstroke S6 title. Ukraine’s Iaroslav Semenenko (1:15.42) and Brazilian Talisson Glock (1:18.69) complete the top three.
Zheng’s world champion teammate Dong Lu (1:29.06) will be pushed all the way to the wall by Ukrainians Yelyzaveta Mereshko (1:29.97) and Oksana Khrul (1:30.05).
Russia’s World and Paralympic champion Konstantin Lisenkov (1:05.92) will lead Ukrainian Iurii Bozhynskyi (1:06.61) and Great Britain’s Oliver Hynd (1:07.15) into the men’s 100m backstroke S8 final.
Lisenkov’s compatriot Dmitry Grigoryev (54.68) leads out the men’s 100m freestyle S10. Brazilian Phelipe Rodrigues (55.43) will attempt to unseat his world and Paralympic champion teammate Andre Brasil. Spain’s David Levecq (55.71) was third fastest.
Rodrigues said: “I am feeling confident - this morning I saved a lot and took it quite easy, especially after the relay last night. We have this rivalry since 2008 and I think he’s [Andre] going to be my biggest competition.”
Russian Darya Stukalova (1:00.28) and Ukrainian Anna Stetsenko (1:00.68) will go head-to-head in the women’s 100m freestyle S13.
The Russian men were also the fastest qualifiers in the 4x100m medley relay 34 points with 4:18.86, leading Ukraine (4:29.16) and China (4:18.86).
Ukraine’s Marian Kvasnytsia (1:13.90) qualified fastest ahead of Russian Andrei Gladkov (1:14.11). Matias de Andrade (1:15.08) could win Argentina’s first medal as the third quickest qualifier.
In the men’s 100m breaststroke SB11, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Mashchenko (1:17.70) was quickest ahead of Japanese reigning world champion Keichi Kimura (1:18.77). Mashchenko’s compatriot Viktor Smyrnov (1:19.19) was third quickest.
New Zealand’s Rebecca Dubber (1:25.00) is in pole position for the women’s 100m backstroke S7 final this evening. China’s Ying Zhang (1:25.34) and the USA’s Cortney Jordan (1:26.93) round-out the top three.
Italy’s Vincenzo Boni (50.49), Russian Alexander Makarov (52.15) and Ukrainian Dmytro Vynohradets (52.54) were the three fastest qualifiers in the men’s 50m backstroke S3.
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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.
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.
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