Day 1 prelim session of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio got off to a fast start this morning. There were 16 events contested this morning, setting up some big races to watch tonight.
MEN’S S6 100 BACKSTROKE
China’s Jia Hongguang got the meet off to a fast start, setting the World, Paralympic and Asian Record with his morning swim. His time of 1:12.27 is a big drop for Jia and breaks his teammate Zheng Tao’s World Record (1:12.94), who is seeded seconding going into tonight’s final after his morning swim of 1:13.59.
WOMEN’S S6 100 BACKSTROKE
Like the men, the China’s Song Lingling broke the World, Paralympic, and Asian record in her 100 back swim this morning. Song’s time of 1:24.66 just barely lowers the previous record of 1:24.71, set by her teammate Dong Lu who swam a controlled 1:26.43 to grab the second seed for tonight.
MEN’S S8 400 FREESTYLE
World Record holder Ollie Hynd looks to continue the family tradition in the 400 freestyle. His brother, Sam, won gold back in 2008, and they together split the podium for Silver and Bronze in London. Four years later, Ollie is trying to match his brother’s gold in this event from Beijing. He swam a controlled 4:31.80 to take the top spot over 2012 Paralympic champion Wang Yinan. Also in the event were American’s Evan Austin and Robert Griswold. Austin failed to make the final, but Griswold nabbed the second seed after a morning swim close to his best time.
WOMEN’S S8 400 FREESTYLE
Jessica Long gets her games started and looks to defend her title in the 400 freestyle from both the Beijing and London Games. She took the top spot this morning in a 4:48.26. The next closest competitor is Lakeisha Patterson of Australia, who swam a 4:57.37. Tonight’s final will also include Madison Elliot and Stephanie Millward. American’s Brickelle Bro and Mallory Weggman also swam the event with Bro making finals and Weggemann just falling short.
MEN’S SB9 100 BREASTROKE
2008 Paralympic Champion Kevin Paul of South Africa took the top seed for tonight in a 1:06.19. His next closest competitor is Denys Dubrov of the Ukraine who swam a 1:07.92 this morning to qualify second tonight.
WOMEN’S SB9 100 BREASTROKE
The Netherland’s Lisa Kruger took down the World, Paralympic, and European record this morning with her time of 1:15.47 which demolishes the previous record of 1:16.69 set by teammate Chantelle Zijderveld who is seeded second tonight after her 1:17.38-morning swim.
MENS’ S4 100 FREESTYLE
This will be one of the tightest races contested tonight. China’s Jin Zhipeng swam a swift 1:26.77 followed closely behind by JO Gi Seong of South Korea who swam a 1:26.81 to qualify for tonight’s final.
WOMEN’S S3 100 FREESTYLE
Olga Sviderska of Ukraine crushed the Paralympic record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:39.07, besting the previous record of 1:44.32 set back in London. The World Record stands at a faster 1:34.86 by Zulfiya Gabidullina who swam a 1:39.17 to grab the second seed for tonight.
MEN’S S14 100 BACKSTROKE
Marc Evers of the Netherlands broke the Paralympic Record in heat 1 in a time of 1:00.97 before it was taken down in the very next heat by Lee In Kook of South Korea who went a 1:00.81. Evers is the 2012 champion in this event.
WOMEN’S S14 100 BACKSTROKE
Marlou van der Kulk broke the Paralympic record in the first heat with a time of 1:07. 23 before it was smashed by Bethany Firth who broke the World, Paralympic, and European record with a time of 1:04.53. American Leslie Cichocki also finaled after swimming a 1:16.80 to qualify.
MEN’S S13 100 BUTTERFLY
Ihar Boki of Belarus Blew the field away and broke the Paralympic Record with a blistering time of 54.54, just off of his World record of 54.44. The rest of the field sits around 58 seconds with American Tucker Dupree swimming up from his S12 category finagling with a time of 1:00.13.
WOMEN’S S13 100 BUTTERFLY
Uzbekistan’s Fotimakhon Amilova broke the World, Paralympic, and Asian record after her morning swim of 1:04.72. Not far behind her is American Becca Meyers who swam a 1:04.94 and broke the American Record in the process.
MEN’S S5 200 FREESTYLE
Rivals Roy Perkins and hometown favorite Daniel Dias squared off for the first time this week in the 200 free with Dias edging out Perkins 2:39.35 to 2:39.69, respectively. Also in the hunt is Great Britain’s Andrew Mullen.
WOMEN’S S5 200 FREESTYLE
Sarah Louis Rung looks to defend her title in the 200 Freestyle but will have stiff competition from Zhang Li and Teresa Perales. They all finished within 2 seconds of each other this morning and look to battle for the colors on the podium. American Alyssa Gialamas also finaled after swimming 3:16.22 this morning.
MEN’S S7 100 BACKSTROKE
2012 Champion Jonathan Fox of Great Britain took the top spot after his morning time of 1:11.37. Seeded second is Brazilian Italo Pereira who hopes to make the home crowd happy with a medal tonight.
WOMEN’S S7 100 BACKSTROKE
China’s KE Liting ended this morning’s session with a bang, breaking the Paralympic and Asian record with a time of 1:22.72. Also qualifying for tonight is Americans Mckenzie Coan and Cortney Jordan.