2016 RIO PARALYMPIC GAMES
- Wednesday, September 7 – Sunday, September 18, 2016
- Swimming: Thursday, September 8 – Saturday, September 17, 2016
- Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Prelims 9:30 AM / Finals 5:30 PM (local time)
- IPC World Records
- Live stream links: NBC / IPC
With defending 100 back champion Rina Akiyama of Japan absent from this year’s Paralympic Games, New Zealand’s Mary Fisher was left in a class of her own, figuratively, in the S11 race for athletes with the greatest visual impairments.
Swimming on Friday, Fisher not only won her second career Paralympic gold medal by a margin of over two seconds, but broke the World Record by half-a-second.
Fisher swam 1:17.96, which overcame the 1:18.59 that Akiyama did in the leadup to her 2012 gold in London. Fisher has made her biggest mark in the IM and butterfly races (she holds World Records in the 200 IM and all three butterfly distances), but has now proven herself easily the best backstroker in the class as well.
Fisher opened in 36.93, which was a second better than anyone else in the field opened. Her closing split of just over 41 seconds crushed any chance of a comeback and carried her to easy victory.
The win is the first gold in swimming of the Paralympics for a powerful New Zealand team that took 8 of them at last year’s World Championships.