Belarus’ Ihar Boki headlined the swimming heats on the penultimate day of competition on Friday (16 September), as he lowered his Paralympic record to go for his fifth gold of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Boki, now a 10-time Paralympic champion having won six golds at London 2012, set a time of 51.45 and is poised to claim his latest title as the world and Paralympic champion.
Ukraine’s Sergii Klippert (53.69) was second ahead of Azerbaijan’s Dzmitry Salei (53.82).
Brazil’s Daniel Dias eased through to the men’s 50m backstroke final in 36.46. The world and Paralympic champion in this event since Beijing 2008, Dias is going for his third gold from his home Paralympics and seventh overall.
Vietnam’s Thanh Tung Vo (39.62) and Hungary’s Zsolt Vereczkei (40.23) were second and third respectively.
Spain’s Teresa Perales (44.48) has yet to pick up a gold at Rio 2016, securing two silvers so far, but heads through first in the women’s 50m backstroke S5. The world champion has finished on the podium at every Games but one in this event since her debut at Sydney 2000, but the title has eluded her.
Czech Republic’s Bela Trebinova (44.49) was just a nose behind. Japan’s Mayumi Narita (46.74) was third.
Spain’s Israel Oliver (2:27.67) is going for his second gold medal in the men’s 200m individual SM11. Ukraine’s Viktor Snyrnov (2:31.78), a silver medallist from four years ago, will challenge him after finishing second overall in the heats. Belrusian Hryhory Zudzilau (2:34.53) rounded off the top three.
Oliver will face a tough fight, however, as the other two medallists from London 2012 – China’s Paralympic champion Bozun Yang and Ukrainian Oleksandr Mashchenko – join him in the final.
China’s Jiao Cheng shone in the women’s 50m backstroke S4, setting a new world record as she aims for her third gold and third new mark in the pool at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Her time of 47.68 seconds takes her through to Friday (16 September) evening’s final ahead of Ukraine’s Mariia Lafina (51.62). Cheng’s compatriot Yue Deng (51.94) was third.
Ukraine’s world title holder Dmytro Vynohradets (2:46.04), a five-time medallist from the Aquatics Stadium in the last days, led China’s Tingshen Li (2:58.54) and Wenpan Huang (2:59.23) in the men’s 150m individual medley SM3.
Paralympic bronze medallist Yinan Wang (26.80), going for his second title of the competition, went quickest in the men’s 50m freestyle S8 for China. Ukraine’s Iurii Bozhynskyi (26.95) was second to lead another Chinese swimmer, Maodong Song (27.29), into third.
Dutch teenager Liesette Bruinsma (2:54.70) is looking to maintain her 100 per cent medal winning record from Rio 2016, as she qualified fastest in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11. China’s Qing Xie (2:55.75) was second with a new Asian record. Sweden’s Maja Reichard (2:55.80) was third fastest.
Great Britain’s Stephanie Millward (30.82) set a new Paralympic record in the women’s 50m freestyle S8. Australia’s world champion Maddison Elliott (30.83) was second ahead of China’s Shengnan Jiang (30.89).
Millward’s teammate Hannah Russell (59.99), the World Championships silver medallist from 2015, qualified fastest in the women’s 100m freestyle S13 and will try to double her gold medal tally.
Ukraine’s Anna Stetsenko (1:00.04) beat Russell to the wall at the Worlds in 2015 and is one of her closest competitors for the final once again in Rio having gone through second. Uzbekistan’s Shokhsanamkhon Toshpulatova (1:01.07) was third.
Jonathan Fox (1:03.17) went through fastest in the men’s 100m freestyle S7 to round off the top British finishers. Colombia’s Carlos Serrano (1:03.80) continued to excel, having already won a gold and a bronze, by going through in second place. China’s world champion Shiyun Pan (1:04.51) will aim to defend his Paralympic gold as the third quickest.
The Czech Republic’s Arnost Petracek (43.69) will be looking to secure his country’s first gold of Rio 2016 as the fastest qualifier in the men’s 50m backstroke S4.
China’s Yuntao Liu (44.42) set a new Asian record to take second. The Mexican duo of Jesus Hernandez (44.49) and defending champion Juan Reyes (45.96) also went through to the final. Reyes is going for his fifth straight Paralympic gold in this race.
In her women’s 100m backstroke S9 heat, Australia’s world and Paralympic champion Ellie Cole touched in at exactly the same time as Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto (1:11.22) did in hers. Cole is going for her first individual medal, and fifth overall, having been part of the world record breaking women’s 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points team on Thursday (15 September). The USA’s Hannah Aspden (1:11.78) also advanced.
The USA’s McKenzie Coan (1:09.74), an owner of two golds from Rio 2016, will go for her third in the women’s 100m freestyle S7. Germany’s Denise Grahl (1:13.43) was second ahead of China’s Yajing Huang (1:13.50), who set a new Asian record.
Poland’s Patryk Biskup (1:05.00) and Great Britain’s Paralympic silver medallist James Crisp set exactly the same time to lead the men’s 100m backstroke S9 heats.