Tokyo Paralympics preview: Para swimming day 4

Old rivalries, Paralympic legends and Games debuts in the programme for 28 August at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre 13 Aug 2021
A woman posing for a photo with a smile on her face while holding a gold medal in her right hand and a mascot in her left hand
USA's Jessica Long will try to win her fourth Paralympic gold in the women's 200m individual medley SM8 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
ⒸBuda Mendes/Getty Images
By Filip Ozbolt | For World Para Swimming

Another 14 finals are scheduled to day four of Para swimming at the Paralympic Games in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Here is all you need to know to get ready for the action on 28 August.

All finalists will be decided in the heats which will take place in the morning session starting at 9:00 am (Tokyo time). After the lunch break, finals take the centre stage from 5:00 pm (Tokyo time).

The first on the schedule will be the men’s 100m breaststroke SB6 final. Ukraine’s Yevhenii Bohodaiko is the favourite to take gold as the double Paralympic champion and world record holder. He also has two World Championships and European Championships titles to his name.

Bohodaiko’s main threat on the road to the first place will be Colombia’s Nelson Crispin. The Para swimmer born in Bucamaranga won the race in the last two editions of the World Championships. He lost to Bohodaiko at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and had to settle for a silver medal.

The Colombian is also a three-time Parapan American Games champion and is the fastest man of the year in the event. Crispin set his fastest time at the World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy in April.

Japan’s Tomotaro Nakamura is the fourth-fastest Para swimmer in 2021 and will look to make an upset.

The women’s  100m breaststroke SB6 comes next with the battle between Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton and the USA’s Sophie Herzog. They are the two fastest swimmers in the event this year.

Summers-Newton set her best time of the year in Glasgow in June and is more than two and a half seconds faster than Herzog who set her fastest time at the US National Trials in Minneapolis.

The 24-year-old Herzog already has a Paralympic silver medal to her name from Rio 2016, while Summers-Newton will make her Games debut. She has a gold medal from the Dublin 2018 Euros and a silver from the London 2019 World Championships in the event.

Mallory Weggemann is the third-fastest athlete in the race in 2021 and can make a one-two podium for USA with compatriot Sophie Herzog.

The heats will see Alejandra Aybar become the first swimmer from Dominican Republic to compete at the Paralympic Games. A silver medallist from the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, she will appear in two more events at Tokyo 2020.


Men’s and women’s 100m freestyle S10

After two breaststroke events, it will be time for two 100m freestyle S10 events. The first is the men’s final with Ukraine’s Maksym Krypak being the clear favourite to defend his title from Rio 2016.

The Kharkiv-born Para swimmer is the London 2019 world champion, as well as the Dublin 2018 and Madeira 2020 European champion. Krypak set the season-best time in Madeira in May and will be the man to beat in Tokyo.

Stefano Raimondi from Italy, the silver medallist in Madeira, set the second-fastest time of the year at the Euros. Australia's Rowan Crothers has the third-fastest time in 2021, set in Gold Coast in April.

Brazil’s Phelipe Rodrigues will certainly be the most experienced of all the Para swimmers in the pool in Tokyo when it comes to men’s 100m freestyle S10. He is a three-time Paralympic medallist, four-time World Championships medallist, and the Lima 2019 Parapan American champion.

The women’s 100m freestyle S10 will be one the highlights on day four. Canada’s Paralympic champion Aurelie Rivard leads the way as the world record holder and reigning world champion from London 2019.

Dutch swimmer Chantalle Zijderveld was second in London but has a European Championships title from Dublin in 2018. The 20-year-old is also the fastest this year with a time set in Eindhoven in April.

Her compatriot Lisa Kruger will also be a threat for Rivard in Tokyo as the second-best this season. She set her fastest time only a month and a half before the Paralympics at a competition in Amsterdam.

The Dutch pair is followed by Hungary’s Bianka Pap this season. She was the fastest at the European Championships in Madeira and also has a bronze medal from the Mexico City 2017 World Championships.

Italy’s Alessia Scortechini is another Para swimmer to watch out for in the women’s 100m freestyle S10. She is the world champion from Mexico City in 2017 and a silver medallist from the Euros in Madeira in May.


Men’s and women’s 150m individual medley SM4

The two freestyle events will be followed by the men’s and women’s 150m individual medley SM4. RPC’s Roman Zhdanov will lead the way in the men’s event as the world record holder and the fastest man in 2021. His dominance in the last couple of years includes world and European titles.

Israel’s Ami Omer Dadaon is the second-fastest in the event this year. He is also the silver medallist from the London 2019 Worlds and the Madeira 2020 Euros. Dadaon won his only major championships gold in the event at the Dublin 2018 Europeans.

Efrem Morelli from Italy was the bronze medallist at this year’s European Championships in Madeira but has a gold medal to his name from the Mexico City 2017 Worlds.

Takayuki Suzuki will be Japan’s medal hope as the third-fastest Para swimmer in 2021. He set his best time in Yokohama in May.

The women’s 150m individual medley SM4 is set be a close contest. Brazil’s Susana Schnarndorf is the second-fastest swimmer this year with a season-best set at the National Trials in June in Sao Paulo.

Schnarndorf is followed by RPC’s Nataliia Butkova who is the reigning European champion from Madeira in May.

Ukraine’s Maryna Verbova finished second at the Euros in Portugal. She took silver at the London 2019 World Championships.


Men’s 150m individual medley SM3, men’s and women’s 100m backstroke S11

Another individual medley event will follow up on day four in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre with the men's 150m SM3.

Mexico's Jesus Hernandez is the second-best Para swimmer in the event this season, but he is not the only Mexican medal contender. His compatriot Diego Lopez Diaz is the reigning world champion from London in 2019.

After a short pause for the victory ceremonies, competition resumes with the men’s and women’s 100m backstroke S11 finals.

In the men’s event, Rogier Dorsman from the Netherlands is the fastest swimmer so far this year. Ukraine’s Mykhailo Serbin and Viktor Smyrnov will be Dorsman’s biggest threat on the way to gold.

Serbin is the reigning European champion and the second-fastest Para swimmer in the event this year, while Smyrnov has the London 2019 world title and Dublin 2018 European title on his CV.

Woyciech Makowski is another name that needs to be underlined. The Polish swimmer is a Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist and world champion from Mexico City 2017.

The fastest women’s 100m backstroke S11 race so far this year was the European Open Championships final in May. RPC’s Sofiia Polikarpova took gold in Madeira with a time that put her on top of this year's ranking. Ukraine’s Maryna Piddubna and Kateryna Tkachuk followed by on the podium and in the 2021 rankings.

Tkachuk has more international success in her collection, with a gold medal at the Dublin 2018 Euros and a silver medal at the London 2019 Worlds.


Men’s and women’s 200m individual medley SM8

There are two more individual medley events scheduled for day four. First up will be the men’s 200m individual medley SM8. Ukraine’s Denys Dubrov is the reigning European champion and the fastest man this year.

He is followed by the USA’s Robert Griswold in the rankings in 2021. Griswold set his best time at the US Trials in Minneapolis. Born in Hickory, North Carolina, Griswold won gold at the Mexico City 2017 Worlds and added a silver to it in London two years after.

Jesse Aungles from Australia might be the biggest threat for the two above-mentioned Para swimmers in Tokyo. He is the third-fastest in the event this year from a competition in Adelaide in June.

USA's Jessica Long is the most familiar name when it comes to the women’s 200m individual medley SM8. She is the three-time Paralympic champion and five-time world champion in the event. Long's only silver medal in the race at the Worlds came in 2019 in London where RPC’s Viktoriia Ishchiulova finished ahead of her.

Long is the fastest woman in the event in 2021, while Ishchiulova holds second place. The RPC swimmer set her time at the Euros in Madeira where she won the gold medal.


Men’s and women’s 100m breaststroke SB5, mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14

The last two individual events of the day in Tokyo will be men’s and women’s 100m breaststroke SB5. Spain’s Antoni Ponce is the Para swimmer to beat in the men’s event. He is the world record holder and the fastest man in 2021.

Ponce also won the last two European titles, a world title in 2017 and a bronze medal at the Worlds in London in 2019.

His main rival in Tokyo will be the RPC’s Andrei Granichka. He holds the world title from London and the silver medal from the European Championships in Madeira in May.

Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko is the clear favourite to win gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5. She is the Rio 2016 Paralympic champion, London 2019 world champion, and back-to-back European champion.

Verena Schott from Germany will be her main threat as the silver medallist from the last two major international events, Worlds in London 2019 and Euros in Madeira this year. Great Britain's Harvey Grace is the second-fastest Para swimmer this season.

The last event scheduled for 28 August is the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14. Great Britain is the world record holder and the current world champion from London 2019. Spain took gold ahead of the French team at this year’s Euros and is the fastest relay team in 2021.

Complete schedule and results from the Para swimming competition at Tokyo 2020 will be available on