Para swimming fans can be in doubt about the potential of Yelyzaveta Mereshko to deliver a major upset at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Ukrainian beat Great Britain’s Eleanor Simmonds in the 400m freestyle S6 in an exhilarating race at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Simmonds had one the event at every World and Paralympic Games since Beijing 2008, but that did not matter to Mereshko, taking the world title from her idol at her first Worlds and setting up one of the races of 2016.
Mereshko won a further two world titles in the 50m and 100m freestyle S6, to add to her first two European titles from 2014.
Not only that the relative newcomer, who only began swimming competitively in 2013, set two new world records in the 50m and 100m freestyle in Glasgow.
However, going into the 2016 Euros the 400m freestyle mark still belonged to Simmonds. Inher absence, Mereshko claimed that accolade too, going on to win four titles in total.
By the time Rio 2016 rolled around, the stage was set for Mereshko and Simmonds to face each other on the biggest stage possible. The Ukrainian took the 400m freestyle crown and another two freestyle events, winning the 100m in a world record time. However the Brit was not to be outdone, retaining her 200m individual medley title.
Mereshko, who enjoys embroidery to keep her mind occupied in between competing and training, is also a computer engineering student.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
She was named among the six best Ukrainian athletes of 2018 at the Sports Constellation annual award ceremony held by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. (isport.ua, 21 Dec 2018)
In recognition of her performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she received the Order for Merit [third grade] in Ukraine. (president.gov.ua, 04 Oct 2016)
She was named the 2016 Female Para Swimmer of the Year in the Swammy Awards, run by the Swimswam swimming news website. (swimswam.com, 30 Dec 2016)
She has received the title of Honoured Master of Sport in Ukraine. (dsmsu.gov.ua, 31 Dec 2020)
|Women's 400 m Freestyle S6||Final 1||2015-07-13||1|
|Women's 400 m Freestyle S6||Heat 2||2015-07-13||2|
|Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts||Final 1||2015-07-13||2|
|Women's 50 m Freestyle S6||Final 1||2015-07-16||1|
|Women's 50 m Freestyle S6||Heat 2||2015-07-16||1|
|Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6||Final 1||2015-07-17||2|
|Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6||Heat 1||2015-07-17||2|
|Women's 100 m Backstroke S6||Final 1||2015-07-18||4|
|Women's 100 m Backstroke S6||Heat 2||2015-07-18||2|
|Women's 100 m Freestyle S6||Heat 2||2015-07-19||1|
|Women's 100 m Freestyle S6||Final 1||2015-07-19||1|
|Women's 100 m Backstroke S6||Heat 1||2016-09-08||2|
|Women's 100 m Backstroke S6||Final Round||2016-09-08||4|
|Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts||Heat 1||2016-09-09||1|
|Women's 50 m Freestyle S6||Final Round||2016-09-10||1|
|Women's 50 m Freestyle S6||Heat 2||2016-09-10||1|
|Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB5||Final Round||2016-09-11||1|
|Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB5||Heat 1||2016-09-11||1|
|Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6||Heat 1||2016-09-12||1|
|Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6||Final Round||2016-09-12||9999|
|Women's 400 m Freestyle S6||Final Round||2016-09-13||1|
|Women's 400 m Freestyle S6||Heat 2||2016-09-13||1|
|Women's 100 m Freestyle S6||Heat 3||2016-09-17||1|
|Women's 100 m Freestyle S6||Final Round||2016-09-17||1|