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2016 Female Paralympic Swimmer of the Year: Yelzaveta Mereshko
Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko led all female swimmers in Rio with 5 total Paralympic medals. 4 were gold for Mereshko, all individual. Her only non-gold medal was a bronze from Ukraine’s mixed 4×50 free relay.
Competing in the S6 classification, Mereshko won the 50 free, 100 free and 400 free. She also won the SB5 100 breaststroke and set a world record in the ever-competitive 100 freestyle.
In no particular order:
- Aurelie Rivard, Canada: Competing in the S10 and SM10 classes, Rivard was part of a great swimming showing for Canada across the Olympics and Paralympics. She won 3 golds and a silver while setting world records in the 50 and 400 frees.
- Rebecca Meyers, USA: Meyers matched Rivard’s medal haul with 3 golds and a silver. She also matched Rivard’s two world records, breaking them in the S13 400 free and 100 fly.
- Zhang Li, China: Helping lead China to a record Paralympic medal haul across all sports, Zhang won 4 golds and a bronze. One of those golds came as part of the Chinese mixed 4×50 relay. Zhang was only on that relay in prelims, but did win a gold as the finals relay broke a world record.