USA’s Robert Griswold Wins S8 100 BK Paralympic Title in World Record Fashion



  • 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.

During the third finals session of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, seven world records bit the dust, five more than prelims earlier in the day.

Taking down the first World record of the session was American Robert Griswold, chopping 0.35s off the S8 men’s 100 back 2016 standard at 1:02.55, winning by a 4.27s margin. At the 2016 Games, Griswold took the bronze medal. Taking the silver medal by 0.27s was Spaniard Inigo Llopis Sanz, who held off China’s Fengqi Liu, 1:06.82 to 1:07.09.

Two swimmers cleared the World record mark in the S14 men’s 200 free. Claiming the gold medal was Great Britain’s Reece Dunn, who took down his former 1:52.96 mark from 2019 with a winning time of 1:52.4o. Also swimming under the former World record with a new Americas/South American record was Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira, breaking 1:53 for the first time at 1:52.74. The bronze medal went to RPC’s Viacheslav Emeliantsev (1:55.58).

China had a big showing in the S5 men’s 50 fly final, sweeping the top three podium positions. Zheng Tao took the Paralympic title in a world record time of 30.62, followed by countrymen Wang Lichao (31.81) and Yang Weiyi (32.00). Brazil Paralympic legend Daniel Dias placed 6th in the final at 36.56.

Two different class World records were broken in the S5 women’s 50 fly final. Breaking the 40-second barrier for the first time for the S5 class was China’s Lu Dong at 39.54. The former World record of 40.51 came from the 2008 Games. Securing the silver medal with this class in a S4 World record was Spain’s Marta Fernandez Infante at 40.22, taking a full second off of her own standard of 41.27. Earning another medal for China was Cheng Jiao at 43.04, another podium showcasing multiple Chinese medalists.

The SM7 men’s 200 IM final featured another pair of swimmers clearing the same World record. Coming out on top with a new World record of 2:29.01 was Israel’s Mark Malyar. Becoming the second SM7 swimmer to break 2:30 in this event was runner-up Ukraine’s Andrii Trusov at 2:29.99.

Securing the bronze medal by four one-hundredths was Columbia’s Carlos Serrano Zarate, holding off Argentina’s Inaki Basiloff, 2:31.58 to 2:31.62. South Africa’s Christian Sadie placed sixth en route a new African Continental record of 2:35.94.

The S11 women’s 50 free sounded off with the top three medalists all swimming under the 30-second barrier. China’s Ma Jia took the gold medal in a World record time of 29.46, with country-mate Li Guizhi picking up silver at 29.66. Cyprus’ Karolina Pelendritou finished in bronze medal position at 29.80, a new European record.

The live results list the event as postponed, as the medal ceremony was not held. In spite of this, official results have been published.

**Update: S11 women’s 50 free final results have been removed from results.

More Day 3 Medalists

  • Azerbaijan’s Raman Salei became a Paralympic champion in the S12 men’s 100 back final at 1:00.30, four-tenths ahead of Ukraine’s Sergii Klippert (1:00.71). Great Britain’s Stephen Clegg settled for the bronze at 1:01.27.
  • Successfully defending her 2016 Paralympic title in the S12 women’s 100 back was Great Britain’s Hannah Russell, stopping the clock three-tenths ahead of RPC’s Daria Pikalova, 1:08.44 to 1:08.76. Setting a new Americas/South American record for the bronze medal was Brazil’s Maria Gomes Santiago at 1:09.18.
  • Inn the S8 women’s 100 back, New Zealand’s Tupou Neiufi took the gold medal with a time of 1:16.84. Ukraine’s Kateryna Denysenko struck silver at 1:18.31 while USA’s Jessica Long earned her 24th career Paralympic medal with a bronze medal time of 1:18.55.
  • Picking up another gold medal here in Tokyo was RPC’s Valeriia Shabalina, winning the S14 women’s 200 free by 0.28s over defending champion Great Britain’s Bethany Firth, 2:03.71 to 2:03.99. The defending champion from 2012, Great Britain’s Jessica-Jane Applegate, added a bronze to her medal collection with a sub0-2:10 effort of 2:09.53.
  • Topping the S11 men’s 50 free was Brazil’s Wendell Belarmino Pereira at 26.03, holding off China’s Hua Dongdong (26.18) by 0.15s. Securing the bronze medal was Lithuania’s Edgaras Matakas (26.38).
  • It was an American 1-2 finish in the SM7 women’s 200 IM, where World record-holder Mallory Weggemann took the gold medal at 2:55.48. Charging home after touching fourth at the last turn was teammate Ahalya Lettenberger at 3:02.82, who was able to touch out 2016 and now 2020 bronze medalist Aussie Tiffany Thomas Kane (3:03.11).
  • Earning a 14th career Paralympic gold medal was Belarus’ Ihar Boki, taking his third title here in Tokyo in the S13 men’s 400 free at 3:58.18. Securing the silver medal was Ukraine’s Kyrylo Garashchenko at 4:02.07 while France’s Alex Portal secured the bronze medal at 4:06.49.
  • In the final event of the session, the S13 women’s 400 free, Ukraine’s Anna Stetsenko struck gold at 4:23.92. Rounding out the podium were silver medalist Italy’s Carlotta Gilli (4:26.14) and Australia’s Katja Dedekind (4:35.87), a new Oceanian record.

Day 3 Medal Table

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  China (CHN) 5 5 7 17
2  RPC (RPC) 5 4 7 16
3  Italy (ITA) 4 5 3 12
4  Great Britain (GBR) 4 3 3 10
5  Australia (AUS) 4 1 5 10
6  Netherlands (NED) 2 3 0 5
7  United States (USA) 2 1 0 3
8  Belarus (BLR) 2 0 0 2
 Israel (ISR) 2 0 0 2
10  Ukraine (UKR) 1 4 1 6
11  Japan (JPN) 1 2 1 4
12  Brazil (BRA) 1 1 4 6
13  Azerbaijan (AZE) 1 0 0 1
 Chile (CHI) 1 0 0 1
 Colombia (COL) 1 0 0 1
 Ireland (IRL) 1 0 0 1
 Singapore (SIN) 1 0 0 1
18  Spain (ESP) 0 3 0 3
19  Canada (CAN) 0 1 1 2
20  France (FRA) 0 1 0 1
 Hungary (HUN) 0 1 0 1
 New Zealand (NZL) 0 1 0 1
23  Germany (GER) 0 0 1 1
 Greece (GRE) 0 0 1 1
 Mexico (MEX) 0 0 1 1
 Uzbekistan (UZB) 0 0 1 1

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2 years ago

Way to go Robert! So happy and proud of you. You have a great family, high principles and superior work ethic. You are a champion win or lose. OLYMPIC GOLD AND WORLD RECORD! WOW

Last edited 2 years ago by DJTrockstoYMCA
para fan
2 years ago

Does anyone know what happened with the s11 50?? We need some real reporting on this!

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  para fan
2 years ago

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. …

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