Berlin played host to more than 600 athletes from 30 countries competing in 40 different events at the IPC-sanctioned 28th International German Championships this weekend. It was a gathering of the elite of Paralympic swimming, including World champions and Olympic medalists.
Leading the world record count was Norway’s Ingrid Thunem. Competing in the S1 class, for athletes with the most severe impairment, Thunem rewrote the record books five times. She broke the S1 record in the 50m free (with 55.11) by 16 seconds; the old mark of 1:11.73 had stood since 2009. Her 100m free (S1) record of 1:56.95 eclipsed the previous mark from 2009 by 45 seconds. She took nearly 30 seconds off the 100m back world record (S1), going 2:32.46 in prelims and 2:32.40 in finals. And she came in under the old mark in the 150m IM (SM1) by an astounding 3 minutes and 33 seconds, touching at 3:45.84.
Maja Reichard of Sweden picked up a pair of SB11 world records in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, in both cases lowering marks she’d already set. She took .23 off the 50 with a 39.68, and .47 off the 100 with 1:26.84.
Cyprus’s Karolina Pelendritou was also a prolific record-breaker, finishing the weekend with new SB12 world marks in the women’s 50m breast, going 34.91 in prelims and 34.87 in finals. She lowered her own record by .20. Pelendritou also lowered her own SB12 world record in the 200 breast, this time by six seconds with 2:50.01.
Thirteen years after he last set the record, the multi-talented Curtis Lovejoy of U.S. Paralympics broke the world record in men’s 100m breast SB1. He took down his 2001 mark of 3:37.05 by six seconds, touching in 3:31.09.
Great Britain’s Hannah Russell destroyed the SB12 world record in the 50 back, taking a half-second off her time between prelims and finals, and finishing 1.4 seconds under the old record with 31.95. She also walked away with a European record in the 400 IM for SM12, with 5:49.688
The fifteen-year-old sensation out of Essex, England, Amy Marren, picked up a SM9 world record in the 400 IM, going 5:23.91 and beating the old time by 12 seconds. She also made off with a S9 European record in the 200 free with 2:16.23.
Naomi Maike Schnittger of Germany’s SC Potsdam rewrote the S12 world record in the women’s 200m free twice. She went 2:14.71 in prelims and 2:14.55 in finals, finishing 1.5 seconds faster than the previous mark.
Paralympic champion Oliver Hynd of Great Britain took two bites out of the men’s 200 free S8 record, going 2:10.43 in prelims and an unbelievable 2:08.71 in finals. The old record was 2:10.59 from 2012.
World record-holder in the women’s 50m, 100m, and 200m fly S8 (32.67, 1:09.79, and 2:47.36, respectively) Jessica Long of U.S. Paralympics lowered her own S8 100 fly world record (see SwimSwam article) in prelims with 1:09.60. Her 1:09.73 final swim earned her the gold medal, ahead of second- and third-place finishers Stephanie Slater (S8) of Great Britain and Oliwia Jablonska (S10) of Polish Paralympic Team. Both women broke European records in their respective classes, Slater in 1:10.01 and Jablonska in 1:08.52. One more world record went down in the women’s 100 fly: Reka Kezdi (S5) of Hungary went 1:51.96 in prelims to better the previous S5 mark by 5.7 seconds.
Aleksandr Golintovskii (S13) of Russian Blind Sports Federation took nearly 22 seconds off the men’s 800m free S13 world record, touching at 09:07.79.
Tucker Dupree of U.S. Paralympics broke the S12 50 back record for the Americas in prelims with a 28.36. He then came back in finals and got the world record as well. His 28.07 took down the previous mark, set in 1988, by .09. A pair of backstrokers also set new Americas records during prelims: U.S. Paralympics’ Cortney Jordan went 41.05 to get the S7 record in the 50m, and Paula Andrea Lara Rodriguez of COL IDRD BOGOTA went 2:38.32 to claim the women’s 100m S3 mark.
Torben Schmidtke (SB6) of SC Potsdam won the gold medal in men’s 200 breast while lowering his own world record for SB6 by two seconds. The new record stands at 3:01.20. His compatriot Elena Krawzow of BVSV Nürnberg rewrote a European record in the women’s 200 breast (SB13) with 2:59.76.
Elizabeth Smith of U.S. Paralympics erased a world record in the women’s 50m fly S9 by .08 with her 31.90 finals swim, while Japan’s Keiichi Kimura shaved three seconds off the men’s 200m fly S11 record, clocking a 2:32.63.
Hungary’s Zsanett Adami lowered her own world record in the women’s 150m IM SM2 by .12 with a 5:00.16 in prelims. Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki broke a thirteen-year-old SM4 world record in the men’s 200m IM by 1.6 seconds, finishing in 3:33.01.
A note about scoring: a multi-class final means that swimmers’ times are compared to a table for their specific classification and assigned a point value. The highest point value wins, so the fastest time doesn’t always get the gold.