Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Uzbekistan win first Paralympic swimming golds at Rio

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe won the eighth Paralympic title of her career, in a new world record time. 11 Sep 2016 By IPC

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe won the eighth Paralympic title of her career, in a new world record time.

Uzbekistan’s swimmers stormed to the first Paralympic golds in swimming at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Sunday (11 September) with two titles, one in a world-record time.

Fotimakhon Amilova set a world record in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB13, from lane one. The 17-year-old’s new mark of 1:12.45 lowered the former record of Great Britain’s Rebecca Redfern (1:13.81). Redfern’s silver-medal time was also under the previous world best of 1:15.96. The USA’s Colleen Young (1:17.02) was third.

A dramatic tie for gold concluded the men’s 100m breaststroke SB13, with Ukrainian Paralympic champion Oleksii Fedyna and Uzbekistan’s Firdavsbek Musabekov sharing the top step of the podium.

Fedyna led on the turn but Musabekov had a better second 50m than the Ukrainian to allow him to close the small gap. Their tied time of 1:04.94 was an Asian record for the 19-year-old Uzbek on his Paralympic debut.

Belarusian Ihar Boki (1:06.71) was pushed into bronze whilst going for his third gold of Rio 2016.

New Zealand’s world and Paralympic champion Sophie Pascoe won gold and secured a new world record in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10 on Sunday (11 September), the eighth Paralympic title of her career.

“I have grown in the four years since London and to come out here and take on another challenge of doing five races in a row is tough in itself and today the 200m IM [individual medley] is the toughest of them all,” Pascoe said.

“We set a plan and at the moment it is tracking pretty well. Tonight I just wanted to go out and break my own world record."

The 23-year-old was unstoppable, coming back from a difficult year in 2015 to tear down her own mark from London 2012 and finish in 2:24.90.

Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (2:30.03) secured a new Americas record alongside her silver. Hungary’s Bianca Pap (2:31.46) was third after strong swims in the breaststroke and freestyle laps.

Hong Kong’s Asian Para Games champion Wai Lok Tang won his country’s first ever swimming gold in the men’s 200m freestyle S14.

Tang set a new Paralympic and Asian record of 1:56.32, just edging Great Britain’s Thomas Hamer (1:56.58) who worked his way up from sixth after the first 50m. Australia’s Daniel Fox (1:56.69) was just pushed into third.

There was a new world record in the men’s 200m individual medley SM10 courtesy of world champion Denis Dubrov (2:06.87). Compatriots Maksym Krypak (2:08.10) and Dmytro Vanzenko (2:10.48) were second and third respectively.

Ukraine’s Yelzaveta Mereshko continued her golden run in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5. Mereshko won her second title over teammate Viktoriia Savtsova (1:42.14). China’s Lingling Song (1:45.21), the silver medallist from 2012, took bronze with a new Asian record.

Italy’s Federico Morlacchi got the Paralympic gold he had been longing for in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB5, to follow up from his world title from 2015. The 22-year-old led Hungary’s Tamas Sors (2:17.33) into silver and Australia’s Timothy Disken (2:17.72) with his first medal in third.

“This is the top of the world,” Morlacchi said. “I had fun. I have not really realised what I have done yet. It’s better than last time [three bronze from London 2012] and I have got three more races.”

The top three in the men’s 200m freestyle S2 all touched in under the world-record time. Gold medallist for China Benying Liu (3:41.54), second-placed teammate Liankang Zou (3:42.58) alongside bronze medallist Serhii Palamarchuk (3:43.69), all went for broke in a close race to dip below the existing record of 3:49.57.

China’s Lin Ping (2:35.64) set a new Asian record on her way to gold in the women’s 200m individual medley SM9. Ping had an incredible freestyle lap, coming back from fifth after the breaststroke to touch the wall just a fraction ahead of Spain’s Sarai Gascon (2:35.84).

“Never did I think I would win a medal here,” Ping said. “I just wanted to go fast and to pay back my coach.”

Great Britain’s Amy Marren (2:36.26) secured the bronze.

China’s Junsheng Li triumphed in an exhilaratingly close men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 race, for a new Asian record of 1:35.96. It appeared that Li had the gold all sown up until the last 25m when Brazilian world and Paralympic champion Daniel Dias began to push back.

With the crowd carrying him forward Dias (1:36.13) came within millimetres of touching in first but could not quite manage.

“He made it a good event. He's a great competitor, he must be respected,” Dias said. “It was good – that’s sport. It shows that Paralympic sport is cool to watch.”

Colombia’s Moises Fuentes Garcia (1:37.40) took away bronze.

China’s Yinan Wang (56.80) successfully defended his title in a close men’s 100m freestyle S8. Leading from the start, Wang led teammate Maodong Song (58.13) into silver. Great Britain’s Josef Craig (58.19) was third.

Norway’s Sarah-Louise Rung (1:44.94) became a triple Paralympic gold medallist in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4. Rung dominated the race, winning ahead of Italy’s Giulia Ghiretti (1:50.58) and Singapore’s Teresa Goh (1:55.55).

World champion Maddison Elliott (1:04.73) and Lakeisha Patterson (1:05.08) blocked out the top two places on the women’s 100m freestyle S8 podium with gold and silver, respectively. Elliott also set a new Paralympic record as Great Britain’s Stephanie Millward (1:05.16) was third with a new European record.

There was a British one-two in the women’s 200m freestyle S14. After taking teammate Jessica-Jane Applegate’s Paralympic record in the heats, Bethany Firth also took the Paralympic title. Firth eased to gold in 2:03.30 with Applegate (2:06.92) taking silver. Dutch swimmer Marlou van der Kulk (2:10.20) was third.

Sweden’s Karl Forsman (1:34.27) claimed victory over South Korean Paralympic champion Woo Geun Lim (1:35.18) in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB5. Kim led on the turn but was overhauled by the 19-year-old.

“It feels great. It feels just like I imagined it would,” Forsman said. “This was my goal and I came here and I succeeded.

Pedro Rangel (1:37.84) won Mexico’s first swimming medal with bronze, ahead of an attempt to swim the English Channel later this month.

Live coverage and results of swimming is available at Live updates will also be posted to IPC Swimming’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.