Aurelie Rivard and Liu Yu Break World/Paralympic Records on Day 4 Prelims



  • There are 14 classifications for Paralympic swimmers, typically denoted as “S” followed by a number.
  • “SB” designates an athletes classification for breaststroke events
  • “SM” is for individual medley events
  • Athletes with physical impairments are classified in S1-S10, SB1-SB9, and SM1-SM10 with numbers 1-10 ranging from more severe activity limitations to less severe limitations.
  • Athletes with visual impairments are classified in S/SB11-13.
  • Athletes with intellectual impairments are classified in S/SB14.
  • The Paralympics are not the “Para Olympics” or anything similar. The International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee are separate organizations with separate leadership and separate events that happen to have a partnership to organize their crowned jewels more efficiently.

Five new Paralympic records were established during the fourth prelims session of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Two of those Paralympic records were also under the respective event’s World record.

In the SB6 women’s 100 breast, Maisie Summers-Newton of Great Britain chopped more than two seconds off the 2016 Paralympic record of 1:35.39 with a new European record time of 1:33.12. Touching 0.07s slower than China’s Liu Daomin (1:35.43) for the No. 3 seed into the final was USA’s Sophia Herzog, setting a new Americas record at 1:35.50.

After taking bronze in the 50 free, Canada’s Aurelie Rivard kicked off her S10 women’s 100 free Paralympic campaign with a prelims World/Paralympic record sweep of 58.60. Rivard held both the former World (59.17) and Paralympic (59.31) records.

Clearing the 2:40-barrier for the first time in the SM4 women’s 150 IM was China’s Liu Yu, taking the top prelims time by 10 seconds at 2:39.39. Her time broke the 2:41.52 World record and smashed the 2:47.57 Paralympic record.

*Note: the 150 IM Para event order is backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle by 50.

Another Chinese swimmer taking down a record during day 4 prelims was Wang Xinyi, who took down the S11 women’s 100 back Paralympic record at 1:17.66.

The fifth Paralympic record of the morning prelims in Tokyo was re-written in the SB5 men’s 100 breast, where Spain’s Antoni Ponce Bertran crushed the 1:31.50 former mark with a 1:26.72. Ponce Bertran currently holds the world record at 1:25.46 from May of this year.

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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