The USA dominated the opening day of the World Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis, USA, claiming 10 medals, including six golds, on Thursday (19 April).
The competition is the second leg of the World Series this year, and medal winners were based on a points system.
Thirteen-time Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long secured two podium finishes as she made her season debut at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Long, who took three months away from the sport after winning eight golds at December’s World Para Swimming Championships, won gold in the women’s 400m freestyle and silver in the 100m breaststroke.
Colleen Young (SB13) secured gold ahead of Long (SB7) in the breaststroke event, with Ireland’s Ellen Keane (SB8) claiming bronze.
There was also a USA one-two in the 400m free with S13 Paralympic champion Rebecca Meyers finishing second behind Long (S8). Bronze went to Great Britain’s Ellie Simmonds (S6), who made her return to international competition after spending a year away from the pool following the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
It was a World Series debut to remember for Tharon Drake (SB11) as he won gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke on home pool. Canada’s Gordie Michie got the better of fellow SB14 swimmer Toshiya Kako to take the silver medal ahead of the Japanese swimmer.
For Michie, the 100m breaststroke silver was his second of the night after he finished behind Koki Sakakura (S14) of Japan in the men’s 200m freestyle. The USA’s Lawrence Sapp (S14) finished third.
Both the men’s and women’s 50m breaststroke titles went to the USA.
Curtis Lovejoy (SB1) came out on top in the men’s. Mexico’s Marcos Rafael Rodriguez Zarate and China’s Tingshen Li (both SB3) claimed silver and bronze respectively to join Lovejoy on the podium. Gold in the women’s event was awarded to Alyssa Gialamas (SB4).
Canada’s Angela Marina (S14) won gold in the women’s 200m freestyle, taking the title ahead of the USA’s Leanne Smith (S3) and China’s S5 Paralympic champion Li Zhang.
Alec Elliot (S10) and Zach Zona (S8) brought Canada’s medal tally to five after securing silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 400m freestyle. But the USA topped the medals table after day one, with Robert Griswold (S8) claiming the host’s sixth victory in the men’s 400m freestyle.
The Indianapolis World Series continues on Friday (20 April) with the 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 150m individual medley and 200m individual medley events.
Swimmers compete in single-class events but winners are determined on World Para Swimming’s Points System.
The Indianapolis World Series sees 198 swimmers from 17 countries competing over 30 medal events. Full results are available online and the competition can also be followed on World Para Swimming’s Twitter page.