Christie Raleigh-Crossley Breaks S9 50 Back World Record at Italy World Series

American Christie Raleigh-Crossley cracked the women’s S9 50 back world record at the Italy stop of the 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series on March 12.

Raleigh-Crossley, a former NCAA DIII National Champion at Rowan University, won the United States’ only gold medal of the meet in that race. The 36-year-old para-swimmer also earned silver in the S9 100 back (1:12.60) and the S9 50 free (29.40).

The excitement was high in Lignano when two Italian para-swimmers broke world records on home soil. Four-time Tokyo Paralympic medalist Simone Barlaam won gold in the S9 200 free (1:58.34) and S9 50 fly (26.05) with world record times while his teammate Stefano Raimondi, who took home a total of seven medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, crushed the S10 200 fly record with a time of 2:06.66.

Nine total world records fell in Italy:

  • David Kratochvil (CZE) – men’s 200m back S11 (2:28.24), 50 back S11 (31.58)
  • Maria Carolina Gomes (BRA) – women’s 50m free S12 (26.68)
  • Simone Barlaam (ITA) – men’s 200m free S9 (1:58.34), S9 50m fly (26.05)
  • Stefano Raimondi (ITA) – men’s 200m fly S10 (2:06.66)
  • Chantalle Zijderveld (NED) – women’s 200m breast SB9 (2:45.07)
  • Christie Raleigh-Crossley (USA) – women’s 50m back S9 (32.01)
  • Gabriel Araujo (BRA) – men’s 50m fly S2 (55.49)

Italy was the second of nine stops of the 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series. The following weekend, from March 16-19, a total of 311 para-athletes from 36 nations competed at the Sheffield meet in Great Britain. 

Another nine world records were crushed in Sheffield:

  • Gabriel Araujo (BRA) – men’s 150m medley S2 (3:23.83), 50m butterfly S2 (53.80)
  • Maria Carolina Gomes (BRA) – women’s 50m breast SB12 (33.60), 50m butterfly (29.19)
  • Tomomi Ishura (JPN) – women’s 50m back (35.53)
  • Marco Meneses (PRT) – men’s 50m back S11 (31.47)
  • Josia Topf (GER) – men’s 50m fly S3 (49.20)
  • Inaki Basiloff (ARG) – men’s 100m fly S7 (1:06.04)
  • Samuel Oliveira (BRA) – men’s 100m fly S5 (1:16.44)

Next up for the Para Swimming World Series is the competition in Indianapolis on April 20.

2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series Schedule

17-19 Feb Australia (Melbourne)
9-12 Mar Italy (Lignano)
16-19 Mar Great Britain (Sheffield)
20-22 Apr USA (Indianapolis)
5-7 May Singapore (Singapore)
11-14 May Germany (Berlin)
26-28 May France (Limoges)
5-8 Oct Mexico (Tijuana)

Athletes will have a break to prepare for the Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester from July 31-August 6 before springing back into the World Series and racing in Mexico for the final stop in October.

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Retired para
1 year ago (56:30 minute mark)

Here’s her (faster) 50 back from the TYR Pro series a few weeks ago. She’s out ahead high level, non disabled swimmers off the start and underwater, and her stroke is strong – clearly not an S9. Sure, there’s a bit of a gallop but it’s not on par with missing a whole leg or lower arm (other S9 impairments). She’d still be a multi-medal contender even as an S10.

At this same meet she swam a 29.09 50 fly, ahead of 20 non disabled swimmers. She’s also 35 and a mom – how much could she possibly be training? She can’t keep sandbagging classification swims forever.

I know she… Read more »

Reply to  Retired para
1 year ago

After you brought that up I looked into the TYR pro series, she swam:
100 Free: 1:01.03
50 Free: 27.46

In Italy her 50 free was a 29.40, almost 2 seconds slower in a 50 than she swam a week previous?? It appears that the TYR pro series is an Olympic meet?

Did some searching and her 100 free when she got classified was a 1:05. She swims 4 seconds faster at an Olympic meet? Why such a extreme difference in Olympic vs Paralympic meet times?

She is getting classified again this year according to the last article. We will see if her 50 and 100 free will be doing the same thing again when classifier eyes are on her.

1 year ago

Observations after reading past articles on this athlete:
-Christie is a mum and in her mid 30’s
-She uses a wheelchair on the pool deck but can out kick swimmers without physical ailments
-She’s broken many country and world records in the last year
-Parents brought up her being booked

Looks like rubbish

Looking forward to seeing her get reclassified this year.

Reply to  J G
1 year ago

I don’t really want to comment on this situation but what I’m curious about is her NCAAs because it seems like she was legitimately successful there but what event did she win and what time did she go?

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  PFA
1 year ago

According to this article, she became paralyzed on one side following a ski accident in 2018, so no bearing on her college career:

Reply to  Mediocre Swammer
1 year ago

Very interesting story about her before any accidents. Looked like in the late 2000s early 2010s she was on the verge of making an A final at US nationals and could have potentially made a team then in that way. Just never worked out in that way.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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