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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
Gold medallist Yelyzaveta Mereshko of Ukraine celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle - S6 on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Yelyzaveta Mereshko

Swimming
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1

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.

Biography

Impairment information

Classification
S6, SB5, SM6

Further personal information

Family
Husband Vadim
Residence
Kherson, UKR
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Russian, Ukrainian
Higher education
Computer Engineering - Kherson National Technical University: Ukraine

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming in 2003 at the Youth Sports School No.6 in Kherson, Ukraine.
Why this sport?
"My mother took me swimming so that I could improve my health. The swimming pool was not far from my house and it was very convenient for us to visit. Then I was invited to take part in children's tournaments, where I become infected with the desire to compete."
Club / Team
Kherson Youth Sports School No.6: Ukraine
Name of coach
Ella Benedyk [personal], UKR, from 2004

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Ukraine
Tournament
European Championships
Location
Eindhoven, NED

General interest

Nicknames
Liza (kherson.pro, 19 Jul 2013)
Hobbies
Needlework, knitting. (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning four gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her coach. (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Ukrainian swimmer Yana Klochkova. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The recipe for success is 5% talent and 95% hard work." (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)
Awards and honours
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)

She received the Order for Merits [third grade] in Ukraine in recognition of her performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (president.gov.ua, 04 Oct 2016)

She was named the 2016 Female Para Swimmer of the Year in Swimswam.com's Swammy Awards. (swimswam.com, 30 Dec 2016)

She has received the title of Honoured Master of Sport in Ukraine. (dsmsu.gov.ua, 28 Dec 2018)
Impairment
She has a malformation of the spinal cord. (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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