Three world records were set in the heats at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships on Sunday (19 July), setting up some incredibly exciting races in the last finals in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko sent a strong message to British reigning world champion Eleanor Simmonds, setting a new women’s 100m freestyle S6 world record.
Mereshko (1:12.36) whittled more than one second off the previous best, to put pressure on Simmonds who qualified fourth fastest. Mereshko has two golds compared to Simmonds’ one, but the Brit also swam a new world record in the women’s 200m individual medley SM6 on Friday (17 July).
Adding to the competition in the event, Australia’s Tiffany Thomas Kane (1:16.25) set a new Oceania record to qualify second and China’s Lingling Song (1:16.86) third.
Belarusian world and Paralympic champion Ihar Boki (54.72) kept up his impressive form in the men’s 100m butterfly S13, qualifying in a new world record time. The mark is the 21-year-old’s fourth this week, set on the way to him winning five gold medals.
Australia’s former world record holder Timothy Antalfy (57.83) was second.
South Korea’s Inkook Lee (1:00.28) set a new world record in the men’s 100m backstroke S14, ahead of Dutch European, world and Paralympic champion Marc Evers (1:00.56) in his favourite event. Russia’s Viacheslav Emeliantsev (1:01.18) was third.
Asked if he would try and claim back his world record in the final, Evers said: “I will give it a try. I swam my best morning session ever, so I can’t complain.”
Great Britain’s Tully Kearney (2:32.94) set her third European record of Glasgow 2015 in the women’s 200m individual medley SM9, as the 18-year-old tries for her third world title.
“My aim was just to go out there and win the heat. I’ve got confidence going into the finals, that was a PB [personal best], so I’ve got confidence I can do it tonight.
Ireland’s Ellen Keane (2:40.53) was second and China’s Ping Lin (2:40.78) third, with a new Asian record.
The Championships record fell twice in the men’s 50m backstroke S4, both times to Russian swimmers. Roman Zhdanov (44.26) qualified fastest in the second heat, immediately after his teammate Aleksei Lyzhikhin (45.65) broke the mark in the first group. Mexican world and Paralympic champion Juan Reyes (45.81) was third.
The USA’s Rebecca Meyers (1:06.55) went fastest in the women’s 100m butterfly S13, setting a new Championships record along the way. Her Russian rival Darya Stukalova (1:07.36) was second quickest.
Brazil’s world and Paralympic champion Daniel Dias (1:17.34) is once again the favourite in the men’s 100m freestyle S5, going for his seventh gold medal in as many days.
“I hope to swim fast,” Dias said simply. “I hope for my best time.”
The USA’s Roy Perkins (1:17.98), who won silver behind Dias at London 2012 and at the 2013 Worlds, sets up a close race for the evening.
“I’m really looking forward to the race,” Perkins said. “Things haven’t really gone to plan up until today but that felt really good.”
Norwegian Sarah Louise Rung (1:24.97) will attempt to seal her fifth gold of the competition in the women’s 100m freestyle S5. Israel’s Inbal Pezaro (1:25.56) and Spain’s Paralympic champion Teresa Perales (1:28.62) were second and third respectively.
Ukraine’s Dmytro Vanzenko (4:20.71) qualified fastest in the men’s 400m freestyle S10. The Netherlands’ Olivier van de Voort (4:22.14) was second and Canadian Benoit Huot (4:22.81) third.
In the women’s event, Canadian 2013 silver medallist Aurelie Rivard (4:38.82) is going for her second gold medal of the week.
“I’m pretty confident, that’s a pretty good time. That’s the fastest I’ve gone in three years so that was pretty solid. It hurts but it’s the event I enjoy the most.”
Mexico’s Stefanny Rubi Cristino Zapata (4:41.90) was second and French reigning world and Paralympic champion Elodie Lorandi third (4:41.92).
The USA’s Cortney Jordan (34.18) is going for triple gold in the women’s 50m freestyle S7, and the retention of her 2013 world title. Russia’s Ani Palian (34.27) and Canadian Sarah Mehain (35.43) complete the top three.
Reigning Colombian world champion Nelson Crispin (1:08.41) put himself in pole position in the men’s 100m freestyle S6, hoping to win his first gold of the Championships.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Komarov (1:09.35) follows Crispin into the heats into alongside Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo (1:09.59). Chinese Paralympic champion Qing Xu did not qualify for the final.
Russian world champion Denis Tarasov (26.80) leads Chinese Paralympic champion Yinan Wang (27.34) into the men’s 50m freestyle S8 final. Ukraine’s Bohdan Hrynenko (27.47) was third.
Andre Kalina (2:19.13) will go for his fourth gold medal in the men’s 200m individual medley SM9 for Russia. Australian Brendan Hall (2:23.62) will try for his third, closely followed by Hungary’s Tamas Toth (2:23.76).
Sergey Sukharev (28.74) went through fastest in the men’s 50m freestyle S7.
Rounding off the Russian fastest qualifiers was Valeriia Shabalina (1:07.48) with Great Britain’s Jessica Jane Applegate (1:08.13) second and the Netherlands’ Marlou van der Kulk (1:08.50) third.
Australian 2013 gold medallist Maddison Elliott (31.25) heads the field in the women’s 50m freestyle S8. Russia’s Oleysa Vladykina (31.69) and Australian Lakeisha Patterson (31.88) were second and third quickest respectively.
Ukrainian Ievgen Panibratets (1:00.91) qualified fastest in the men’s 50m backstroke S2, followed by Dmitrii Kokarev (1:01.30) and China’s Paralympic champion Yang Yang (1:02.36).
China’s Juan Ban (53.83) was fastest in the women’s 50m backstroke S4. Ukrainians Maryna Verbova (54.87) and Mariia Lafina (56.21) were second and third.
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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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