Remember the 2008 Olympics? Where it seemed like every heat resulted in an Olympic or a World Record?
It looks like this year’s Paralympics are going to be that kind of a meet. Two World Records have already been broken in prelims of the first day of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The first came in the men’s S7 100m backstroke, where Great Britain’s Jonathan Fox became the first athlete of the entire event to break a World Record in 1:09.86. That knocked six-tenths off of his 1:10.45 from the 2011 European Championships. It looks like the British Paralympic swim team is off to a much hotter start than their Olympic team was.
Britain was off to a hot start otherwise too, with a Paralympic Record from Nyree Kindred, participating in her 4th games. She won the women’s S6 100 back in 1:27.96, clearing the time set by China’s Lu Dong in an earlier heat by two-tenths.
The second World mark came from Australia’s Sophie Pascoe in the SM10 Women’s 200 IM. She blew away the field with a 2:28.73 for a six-second advantage. That broke the record of Canadian Summer Mortimer that had been sitting at 2:30.14. Mortimer was off of her best time in this race, and sits as the second seed in 2:34.44, after Pascoe pulled away on the breaststroke leg of the swim.
In other action, the Ukraine’s Kateryna Istomina put up an S8 Paralympic Record in the women’s 100 fly of 1:11.04. In a race where American Jessica Long was a heavy favorite coming in, she’ll head to finals as the second seed following a 1:11.14. She is the defending Paralympic champion in the race, as compared to the 18-year old newcomer Istomina.
Other big names had big swims in the prelims even without breaking World Records. South Africa’s Natalie du Toit, one of the greatest Paralympic swimmers ever, will have the top seed in the S9 women’s 100 fly with a 1:09.94.
There are no semi-finals in the Paralympics, so be ready for plenty of gold medals going out tonight.