Colombian world champion Carlos Serrano stormed to his fifth world record in just over one year in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7 on Saturday (10 September) in the heats at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Serrano (1:14.01), who made his international debut in 2013, last lowered the mark in June this year and shaved a further 0.67 seconds off that time at the Aquatics Stadium.
"We have been training really hard to try to improve the time,” Serrano said. “I can go faster in the final."
Australia’s defending champion Blake Cochrane (1:20.08) was second quickest, closely followed by the Netherlands’ Simon Boer (1:20.43).
Uzbekistan’s Fotimakhon Amilova (2:24.43) lowered the world record of the USA’s world champion Rebecca Myers in the women’s 200m individual medley SM13. Myers (2:29.88) was second.
The USA’s Elizabeth Marks (1:28.83) set a new Paralympic record to lead her heats in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB7. The US Army Sergeant is best known for giving her Invictus Games gold medal to the hospital in Cambridge, Great Britain, which saved her life after she was struck down with a serious lung condition in 2014.
The Netherlands’ Lisa den Braber (1:34.13) and Marks’ world and Paralympic champion teammate Jessica Long (1:34.48) were second and third respectively.
Belarusian Ihar Boki’s time of 2:06.13 in the men’s 200m individual medley SM13 was a new Paralympic mark, as the reigning champion aims for his second gold medal. His arch rival, Ukraine’s Iaroslav Denysenko (2:12.87), and his compatriot Danylo Chufarov (2:15.36), were the second and third quickest respectively.
Three more Ukrainians showed their form in the heats, leading the charge into tonight’s finals.
Debutant Maksym Krypak (58.25) followed up from his gold on Friday with a world record in the men’s 100m backstroke. Former Dutch record holder Olivier van de Voort (58.53), himself also at his first Paralympics at the age of 18, was second.
World champion Yelyzaveta Mereshko (33.53) was in Paralympic record-breaking form in the women’s 50m freestyle S6. She is in the hunt for her first gold and led compatriot Viktoriia Savtsova (34.68) and Great Britain’s Ellie Robinson (34.99).
World title holder Dmytro Vynohradets (45.97) will want to capitalise on his first-placed qualification performance in the men’s 50m backstroke S3. Worlds silver medallist Vincenzo Boni (47.16) was second and China’s Paralympic bronze medallist Jianping Du (47.35) third.
Four Chinese swimmers qualified fastest for their finals on Friday morning.
Qiuping Peng added to her country’s world record haul in the women’s 50m backstroke S3 with a time of 49.91. Teammate Guofeng Meng (52.64) was the Paralympic record holder from the first heat before being surpassed by Peng in the second. Former world record holder and world champion Lisette Teunissen (54.34) went through in third.
Shiwei Hu (35.74) set a new Asian record in the men’s 50m butterfly S5. London 2012 silver medallist Roy Perkins (35.75) was second in front of defending champion, and home favourite, Daniel Dias (36.86).
Xihan Xu went through quickest in the women’s 50m butterfly S5 with a fresh Asian record.
Hungary’s Reka Kezdi (46.13) was second as Spain’s multiple Paralympian Teresa Perales (47.73) also sailed through. Defending Norwegian title holder Sarah-Louise Rung went through to the final but was disappointed with only just making it.
"I'm very disappointed. It was a very bad race,” Rung said. “I had a bad start and nothing in the race felt good. I am going to talk to my trainer and watch the video and hope we can change things.
"My training has been going really well, so I just don't know what happened."
Hongguang Jia (29.66) will go for his second medal of Rio 2016 as the fastest qualifier from the men’s 50m freestyle S6. Colombia’s Nelson Crispin (29.68) will challenge him as the second quickest, ahead of Cuba’s Lorenzo Perez Escalona (30.24).
New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe (1:07.23) led the field in the women’s 100m backstroke S10, hoping to improve on her silver medal from London 2012.
Hungary’s Bianka Pap (1:09.15) was second and British World Championships bronze medallist Alice Tai (1:09.64) third.
Italy’s Cecilia Camellini (5:19.71) will go head-to-head with 15-year-old Dutch swimmer Liesette Bruinsma (5:20.04) in the final of the women’s 400m freestyle S11. Germany’s world and Paralympic champion Daniela Schulte (5:27.41) was also in the mix as the third fastest.
Live coverage and results of swimming is available at Paralympic.org. Live updates will also be posted to IPC Swimming’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.