Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Day 2 Finals: Belarus’ Ihar Boki Wins 13th Career Gold



  • 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.

The second finals session of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, 9 world records and 10 paralympic records were taken down. Among the record-breakers was dominant Paralympic presence Ihar Boki of Belarus, who picked up his 13th career Paralympic gold medal.

The first two World/Paralympic records of the session was broken in the same event: the S5 women’s 100 free final. Great Britain’s Tully Kearney took the first 50 out in a 35.83, which actually clipped 0.05s off the 50 free World/Paralympic record from 2012. Kearney touched the wall at 1:14.39, chopping nearly two full seconds from her own 1:16.36 World/Paralympic marks.

Kearney in fact swam that 1:16.36 during the first 100 of yesterday’s 200 free final, which took three-tenths off the 1:16.65 world record from 2008. Kearney earned silver in the 200 free final behind China’s Zhang Li, who settled for silver in the 100 event at 1:17.80. Monica Boggioni of Italy picked up the bronze medal at 1:22.43, just 0.06s ahead of Suzanna Hext of Great Britain (1:22.49).

Upgrading yesterday’s SB3 men’s 50 breast bronze to gold in the S4 men’s 100 free was Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki, breaking the 2004 Paralympic record of 1:22.77 with the winning time of 1:21.58. Early leader Luigi Beggiato picked up silver for Italy at 1:23.21. Yesterday’s SB3 men’s 50 breast champion, Roman Zhdanov of the RPC, earned a bronze medal in this event at 1:26.95.

Columbia’s Nelson Crispin Corzo had the strongest breast/free splits to take the SM6 men’s 200 IM final with a new World and Paralympic record time of 2:38.12. RPC’s Andrei Granichka boosted from 5th at the final turn to 2nd at the finish (2:40.92), touching ahead of a trio of Chinese swimmers led by bronze medalist Jia Hongguang (2:41.29).

In the SM6 women’s 200 IM final, Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton blasted 48.57 on the breaststroke leg to go from 4th place to 1st into the freestyle leg. No one was able to catch Summers-Newton at the finish, who registered a new World/Paralympic time of 2:56.68 for gold. Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko, who broke the World record in prelims, touched out Germany’s Verena Schott by 0.05s for silver, 2:58.04 to 2:58.09.

American Anastasia Pagonis broke her own World and Paralympic records in the S11 women’s 400 free final to nab gold at 4:54.49. Pagonis is the only swimmer in S11 category history to break five minutes in this event. Dutch Liesette Bruinsma took the silver medal at 5:05.34 while Chinese Cai Liwen‘s bronze medal time of 5:07.56 set a new Asian record.

Re-writing her own hours-old World and Paralympic records was Chantelle Zijderveld of the Netherlands. Zijderveld topped the SB9 women’s 100 breast final at 1:10.99, taking down her 1:11.23 from prelims. Fellow country-mate Lisa Kruger took silver at 1:13.91 for a Dutch 1-2 sweep. Aussie Keira Stephens hit 1:17.59 for the bronze medal.

Earning his second gold medal of these Games was Belarus’ Ihar Boki, topping the S13 men’s 100 back final with a new World/Paralympic standard of 56.36. Swimming in his third Games, this is now Boki’s 13th career Paralympic gold medal and 15th career Paralympic medal. Boki’s previous 100 back marks of 56.68 came from the 2016 Paralympics, where he won six golds and one bronze. At the 2012 Paralympics, Boki picked up five golds and one silver.

Staying under a minute to join Boki on the podium were Canada’s Nicolas Turbide (59.70) and RPC’s Vladimir Sotnikov (59.86).

Along with country-mate Pagonis, fellow American Gia Pergolini secured Paralympic gold in the S13 women’s 100 back en route new World and Paralympic standards at 1:04.64, which she had previously established at 1:05.05 in prelims. Italian Carlotta Gilli added a silver medal in this event (1:06.10) to her 100 fly gold from yesterday. Aussie Katja Dedekind set a new Oceanian record of 1:06.49 to take bronze.

In the mixed 4×50 free 20 points relay, where all four swimmers category numbers (S3-S7) must equal 20 points, China set a new World and Paralympic record. The S5 FMMF quartet of Zhang Li (36.22), Zheng Tao (30.48), Yuan Weiyi (31.38), and Lu Dong (37.41) combined for a winning effort of 2:15.49, taking down the country’s 2016 World and Paralympic marks of 2:18.03.

Italy picked up a silver medal with a new European record of 2:21.45 while Brazil set a new Americas/South American record of 2:24.82 to holding off Ukraine by 0.07s for bronze.

More Day Two Medalists:

  • Italian native Francesco Boccardi took his second gold medal here in Tokyo by topping the S5 men’s 100 free final with the lone sub-1:10 effort of 1:09.56. Chinaman Wang Lichao touched out Brazilian veteran Daniel Dias by 0.35s for the silver medal, 1:10.45 to 1:10.80.
  • Two Continental records were set in the S11 men’s 400 free final. Rogier Dorsman of the Netherlands was the only swimmer to break 4:30 with a time of 4:28.47, setting a new European record. Picking up the silver medal was Uchu Tomita of Japan at 4:31.69, whose time was fast enough to break the Asian record. Another Asian swimmer, Hua Dongdong, joined Tomita and Dorsman on the podium with his 4:34.89 bronze medal swim.
  • The second Italian swimmer to strike gold on day two was Stefano Raimondi, who dominated the SB9 men’s 100 breast final at 1:05.35. A trio of RPC swimmers finished behind Raimondi, with Artem Isaev (1:07.45) and Dmitrii Bartasinskii (1:08.06) making the podium.
  • RPC’s Andrei Kalina took the SB8 men’s 100 breast title at 1:07.24, which was 0.23s off his own World/Paralympic records from the 2008 Games. Spain’s Oscar Salguero Galisteo broke 1:10 to take the silver at 1:09.91 while China’s Yang Guanglong set a new Asian record of 1:10.48 for bronze.
  • Ireland’s Ellen Keane chased down New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe for SB8 women’s 100 breast gold, 1:19.93 to 1:20.32. Despite taking silver, Pascoe’s time set a new Oceanian record. RPC’s Adelina Razetdinova earned bronze at 1:24.77.

Day 2 Medal Table

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Italy (ITA) 4 4 3 11
2  RPC (RPC) 4 3 6 13
3  Australia (AUS) 4 1 5 10
4  Netherlands (NED) 2 3 0 5
5  China (CHN) 2 2 4 8
6  Great Britain (GBR) 2 2 1 5
7  United States (USA) 2 1 0 3
8  Belarus (BLR) 2 0 0 2
9  Ukraine (UKR) 1 4 1 6
10  Japan (JPN) 1 2 1 4
11  Brazil (BRA) 1 1 4 6
12  Chile (CHI) 1 0 0 1
 Colombia (COL) 1 0 0 1
 Ireland (IRL) 1 0 0 1
 Israel (ISR) 1 0 0 1
 Singapore (SIN) 1 0 0 1
17  Spain (ESP) 0 3 0 3
18  Canada (CAN) 0 1 1 2
19  France (FRA) 0 1 0 1
 Hungary (HUN) 0 1 0 1
 New Zealand (NZL) 0 1 0 1
22  Germany (GER) 0 0 1 1
 Greece (GRE) 0 0 1 1
 Mexico (MEX) 0 0 1 1
 Uzbekistan (UZB) 0 0 1 1

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

Read More »