2020 TOKYO SUMMER PARALYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Wednesday, August 25 – Friday, September 3, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 9 AM / Finals: 5 PM (Local time)
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EXPLANATION OF PARA CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
- 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.
After four days of competition, China leads the overall medal table with 25 total medals, five more than the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). Both the RPC and Ukraine also have the most gold medals thus far with seven total.
After claiming the World record of 2:39.39 in prelims, China’s Liu Yu secured the gold medal in the SM4 women’s 150 IM with a time of 2:41.91. Taking second for a Chinese 1-2 finish was silver medalist Zhou Yanfei (2:47.41). Rounding out the podium with bronze was RPC’s Natalia Butkova (2:53.25).
In the S11 women’s 100 back, China picked up a powerful 1-2-3 podium finish. It was a tight race for the gold, yet Cai Liwen edged out teammate Wang Xinyi by a quarter of a second, 1:13.46 to 1:13.71. Both times had dominated Xinyi’s 1:16.40 World record and 1:17.66 Paralympic record. Li Guizhi took the bronze medal at 1:16.98, which was also under the former Paralympic standard.
Another session highlight was the SM8 women’s 200 IM final, where American Jessica Long became a 25-time Paralympic medalist with her 14th career Paralympic gold, winning the Tokyo event final at 2:41.49. Italy’s Xenia Palazzo took the silver at 2:47.86 while RPC’s Mariia Pavlova took bronze at 2:48.63.
More Day 4 Highlights
Taking down her own hours-old SB6 women’s 100 breast Paralympic and European records to seal the gold medal was Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton, improving from 1:33.12 in prelims to 1:32.34 in the final. China’s Liu Daomin picked up silver at 1:33.30 while USA’s Sophia Herzog earned bronze at 1:36.06.
In the S10 men’s 100 free, Ukrainian Maksym Krypak charged home to take down the 2010 World record standard of 50.87 en route Paralympic gold with a time of 50.64. Krypak also took down the 2012 Paralympic record of 51.07. Aussie Rowan Crothers, already a Paralympic champion in Tokyo, added silver to his collection at 51.37, just 0.08s ahead of bronze medalist Italian Stefano Raimondi (51.45).
In the S10 women’s class, Canada’s Aurelie Rivard upgraded her 50 free bronze to 100 free gold by breaking her own prelims World/Paralympic records at 58.14, the only swimmer to clear 1:00. Taking the silver medal in a new European record was Chantelle Zijderveld of the Netherlands at 1:00.23. Country-mate Lisa Kruger swam 1:00.68 to secure bronze for a Dutch 2-3 finish.
Clearing the 2:22-barrier for the first time in the SM4 men’s 150 IM was RPC’s Roman Zhdanov at 2:21.17. During prelims, Shdanov cruised to the top seed at 2:29.83. Israel’s Ami Omer Dadaon stopped the clock at 2:29.48 for the silver medal while Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki appeared on the Paralympic podium once again on home soil with bronze at 2:40.53. Earlier in these Games, Suzuki picked up bronze in the 50 breast while claiming a gold medal in the 100 free.
RPC’s Andrei Granichka (1:25.13) stole the SB5 men’s 100 breast World and Paralympic records from Spain’s Antoni Ponce Bertran (1:26.53) for the gold medal in Tokyo. China’s Li Junsheng picked up the country’s 11th bronze thus far in the Games at 1:29.01.
Leading off the S14 mixed 4×100 free relay were class front-runners Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira and Great Britain’s Reece Dunn, who led off their relays with respective splits of 51.11 and 51.15. According to the World Para Swimming records database, both of those times unofficially cleared Dunn’s 2019 World record of 51.52.
At the conclusion of the relay, though, Dunn and teammates Bethany Firth, Jessica-Jane Applegate, and Jordan Catchpole combined for a new World/Paralympic time of 3:40.63. The Australian relay set a new Oceanian record of 3:46.38 for silver, the Brazilian relay wrote new Americas/South American records of 3:51.23 for bronze, while Japan’s fourth-place relay set an Asian record of 3:57.18.
More Day 4 Medalists
- The winner of the SB6 men’s 100 breast was determined by six one-hundredths. Taking Paralympic gold was Ukraine’s Yevhenii Bohodaiko (1:20.13) while Colombia’s Nelson Crispin Corzo (1:20.19) settled for silver. Nabbing a new Oceanian record for the bronze was Australia’s Matthew Levy (1:21.10).
- The only swimmer to break three minutes in the SM3 men’s 150 IM was Mexico’s Jesus Hernandez, claiming the gold medal with a time of 2:56.99. Behind him was an Aussie 2-3 finish by Ahmed Kelly (3:02.23) and Grant Patterson (3:05.57).
- Ukraine celebrated a 1-2 finish in the S11 men’s 100 back, courtesy of Mykhailo Serbin (1:08.63) and Viktor Smyrnov (1:09.36). Ukraine currently has the most silver medals after four days with nine. Taking the bronze was China’s Yang Bozun (1:09.62).
- Holding off Chinese swimmers Xu Haijiao (2:21.06) and Yang Guanglong (2:21.53) for Ukraine’s 7th gold in the Games was Denys Dubrov, securing SM8 men’s 200 IM gold at 2:20.96.
- Ukraine’s 7th gold medal of these Games came from Yelyzaveta Mereshko, registering a time of 1:40.59 to win the SB5 women’s 100 breast. Rounding out the podium were Great Britain’s Grace Harvey (1:42.22) and Germany’s Verena Schott (1:43.61).
Day 4 Medal Table
|4||Great Britain (GBR)||6||4||3||13|
|5||United States (USA)||5||2||2||9|
|15||New Zealand (NZL)||1||1||0||2|