Tom Miazga has had a front-row seat to the world of Paralympic swimming for more than half a decade. That’s because he was a member of the 2008 Paralympic Team that traveled to Beijing, where he made the finals of the 400 freestyle. This summer, Tom will be with us bringing and insiders viewpoint of everything that goes on at the London Aquatics Centre during the 2012 Paralympic Games. If you have any questions for Tom, about the meet, about para-swimming in general, or anything else you see this week, leave them in the comments sections either of this post or any of our Paralympic posts, and he’ll address them!
After a huge night last night, the US continued their strong performances, nearly finaling every swimmer who swam today. Those who did final sure took advantage and brought home a ton more hardware for the US and continued to prove this country’s dominance.
In the first race of the day, the dynamic Hynd duo of Great Britain (Oliver Hynd and Sam Hynd) set the up the finals of the SM8 200 IM to be quite a show, posting the 1st and 2nd seeds. However, at night, it was all the Oliver show. Coming off the fly in 4th, Oliver blazed a trail on the middle 100, leaving little doubt that he could be beat by winning in a new European Record of 2:24.63. Taking the silver was China’s Jiachao Wang with Maurice Deelen of the Neatherlands rounding out the medalists. Sam Hynd did all he could, but being in 8th place after fly proved to be too much of a deficit as he finished 4th.
On the women’s side, American Jessica Long once again proved her dominance and brought home the gold with a new Paralympic Record of 2:37.09, about a second off her own world record. Five seconds behind her Olesya Vladykina of Russia claimed the silver with an impressive swim after having the lead at the 150.
As impressive as Jessica was, the swim of the entire meet may go American Ian Silverman in the S10 400m Freestyle. Silverman, a mere 16 years young trains with the likes of Chase Kalisz and Michael Phelps (well, trained now that Phelps is done) at North Balitmore Aquatic Club. The distance phenom took the top seed through prelims with a 4:13.48, but blasted a 4:04.91 in finals taking out world-record holder Andre Brasil and Canada’s legend Benoit Huotto win with a new Paralympic and American Record. Not a bad way to represent in your first international meet!
American Susan Beth Scott put together a great swim to bring home the bronze of the women’s side in a time of 4:37.23. A strong near even-split from France’s Elodie Lorandi brought her home the Gold in a winning time of 4:34.55. Canda’s Aurelie Rivard claimed the silver, 4:36.46.
Woo-Geun Lim from the Republic of Korea led start to finish to win the Gold in the Men’s SB5 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1:34.06, but only nine tenths ahead of Germany’s Niels Grunenberg. Mexico’s Pedro Rangel finished 3rd in 1:36.85.
German Kirsten Bruhn did what Kitajima came short on in London. The infamous three-peat. Of course we saw Jessica perform the feat in the 400m Free this week, and has a chance to do it again in the 100m Free, but nonetheless, it’s quite an honorable ability. Bruhn brought home the gold in the Women’s SB5 100m Breaststroke with a blazing 1:35.50, winning by almost 12 seconds! American Noga NIR-KISTLER swam a phenomenal swim to claim Bronze in a new American Record at 1:50.76. Fellow teammate Ileana Rodriguez swam to a 7th place finish in the final. Oh yeah, by the way; Bruhn just won her 3rd Breaststroke Gold at the age of 42!
Tucker Dupree swam a big 100m back in the Men’s S12 event to bring a silver and another medal to the US. Dupree swam in new American Record fashion, finishing in 1:01.36. It was Aleksandr Nevolin-Svetov of Russia taking the gold in 59.35, clipping the previous world record by .01 second! Ukraine added a bronze to their medal total with Sergii Klippert finishing just behind Dupree at 1:01.55.
It was Russia’s Oxana Savchenko who won the S12 women’s 100m Back in World Record time at 1:07.99. Natali Pronina of Azerbaijan claimed the silver and hometown-favorite Hannah Russell brought home the bronze for Great Britain.
Day 7 is proving that endurance is staying put within swimmers, with World Records still dropping like flies. There may only be three days of swimming left, but guarantee that viewers will remember these games even if they ended today. Expect big swims from the US to close out the meet!
With just two days of competition left, it’s going to be tough for anyone to make up the ground on China’s 17 gold medals. Their 41 total medals should definitely lock them in as the winners in that category.
People’s Republic of China
United States of America