As the half-way point of swimming at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games approaches, day five will be punctuated by a series of 50m freestyle races.
Independent Paralympic Athlete Ibrahim Al-Hussein will also compete for the first time, hoping to swim well and raise awareness of the plight of the millions of refugees around the world displaced by conflict and persecution.
Men’s 50m freestyle S11
The USA’s Bradley Snyder left the 2015 World Championships with a trio of golds, including in this race. Japan’s Keiichi Kimura stood next to him on the podium in second while Hendri Herbst took home one of South Africa’s six medals with bronze.
Men’s 50m freestyle S5
Daniel Dias has won a medal in every single race so far at Rio 2016, giving him four medals including one gold. He is the Paralympic and world champion and world record holder in this event and will face the man who inspired him to take up swimming – teammate Clodoaldo Silva.
Men’s 400m freestyle S13
Belarusian medal machine Ihar Boki has not lost this race at a major international competition or Paralympic Games since 2010. However, he had to come back in the last 50m against Ukraine’s Iaroslav Denysenko to claim gold at the Worlds in 2015.
Women’s 50m freestyle S11
New Zealand’s London 2012 bronze medallist Mary Fisher will go up against Chinese world champion Guizhi Li. However, Sweden’s Maja Reichard broke the world record in May, swiftly followed by the Netherlands’ Liesette Bruinsma in June.
Men’s 200m individual medley SM6
China’s Paralympic champion Qing Xu did not make it into the finals at the 2015 World Championships. Instead, Great Britain’s five-time Paralympian Sascha Kindred took gold, with the top three finishing inside 0.50 seconds of each other. Colombia’s Nelson Crispin and Brazil’s Talisson Glock took silver and bronze respectively. Here in Rio, Xu has already won three golds.
Women’s 50m freestyle S5
Offering the chance for another Brazilian gold, Joana Maria Silva heads into this race as the world champion. But Spain’s Teresa Perales, the Beijing 2008 Paralympic gold medallist, beat Silva at the recent European Open Championships.
Women’s 100m butterfly S10
New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe is the reigning title holder, having set a new world record on her way to gold at London 2012. She lowered the mark further in March 2016. Her performances so far have been outstanding, including a new world record in the women’s 200m individual medley on Sunday (11 September).
Women’s 200m individual medley SM6
Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Eleanor Simmonds broke the world record in this event twice in 2015, once on her way to her third world title. She is very close to swimming a sub-3:00.00 time.
Men’s 50m butterfly S7
China’s Paralympic champion Shiyun Pan and Ukraine’s silver medallist Yevheniy Bohodayko have always been close in this event. Pan has so far emerged as the winner, but Bohodayko pushed him to equal his own world record at the 2015 World Championships, and finished just 0.33 seconds behind. Watch out also for Colombia’s Carlos Serrano, looking to maintain his 100 per cent medal winning record from Rio 2016.
Women’s 100m freestyle S9
Australia’s Ellie Cole considered retiring after winning four golds at London 2012, including in this event. But the 24-year-old decided she has a lot left to give and returns to the pool as the reigning world champion.
Men’s 100m freestyle S9
Italy’s Federico Morlacchi won his first Paralympic gold on Sunday in the men’s 200m individual medley SM9. As the silver medallist from the 2015 Worlds, the Italian will be one of the favourites for a podium finish. Independent Paralympic Athlete Ibrahim Al-Hussein also dives into the pool for the first time.
Live coverage and results of swimming is available at Paralympic.org. Live updates will also be posted to IPC Swimming’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.