2008 PARALYMPIC GAMES: Jessica Long Sets World Record in Preliminary Rounds
Sept. 11, 2008
BEIJING, China - Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) set the world record in the women's 200m IM (SM8) heats Thursday morning with a time of 2:42.56. Long, who held the previous world record (2:43.60) from 2006, goes into tonight's finals looking for her fifth medal of the Beijing Paralympic Games. Teammate Amanda Everlove (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who finished second in the heat with a time of 2:52.93, will also be vying for a spot on the podium.
"I'm happy I set the world record. I felt like I got out fast," said Long. "I'm a little upset at the backstroke time so I'll improve on that. I'm 10 seconds ahead of my nearest competitor. I know all the competitors are great swimmers and will drop time tonight, so I'm going to need to swim hard. I can't wait to race tonight."
The U.S. women's team also holds the top two spots in the 400m freestyle (S7.) Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) finished in first place with a time of 5:31.27, while teammate Erin Popovich (Fort Collins, Colo./Silverbow, Mont.) is ranked second (5:34.18.)
Lantz Lamback (Colorado Springs, Colo./Augusta, Ga.), who is coming off a world-record, gold medal swim (1:12.09) in the men's 100m backstroke (S7), will be chasing a third medal in the men's 400m freestyle (S7) tonight.
13 U.S. athletes advance to tonight's finals, including:
17:00 Men's 400m Freestyle (S7) - Lantz Lamback (Colorado Springs, Colo./Augusta, Ga.) - 5:05.65 (2)
17:00 Men's 400m Freestyle (S7) - Alex Dionne (Mequon, Wis.) - 5:14.97 (5)
17:09 Women's 400m Freestyle (S7) - Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) - 5:31.27 (1)
17:09 Women's 400m Freestyle (S7) - Erin Popovich (Fort Collins, Colo./Silverbow, Mont.) - 5:34.18 (2)
17:24 Men's 200m IM (SM5) - Roy Perkins (Del Mar, Calif.) - 3:30.69 (5)
17:55 Women's 200m IM (SM8) - Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) - 2:42.56 (1, WR)
17:55 Women's 200m IM (SM8) - Amanda Everlove (Colorado Springs, Colo.) - 2:52.93 (2)
18:19 Men's 200m IM (SM9) - Michael Prout (West Springfield, Mass.) - 2:25.65 (5)
18:19 Men's 200m IM (SM9) - Cody Bureau (Colorado Springs, Colo./Latrobe, Pa.) - 2:27.30 (6)
19:32 Women's 200m IM (SM10) - Anna Eames (Golden Valley, Minn.) - 2:43.21
19:32 Women's 200m IM (SM10) -Susan Beth Scott (Colorado Springs, Colo.\Cape Girardeau, Mo.) - 2:45.39
18:49 Men's 400m Freestyle (S11) - Philip Scholz (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) - 5:02.07 (5)
18:59 Men's 400m Freestyle (S12) - Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, N.C.) - 4:24.95 (2)
19:55 Men's 4x50m Freestyle relay (20 point) - Team USA (to be announced)
Men's 50m Breaststroke (SB3) - Michael DeMarco (San Diego, Calif.) - 1:03.26 (9)
Women's 400m Freestyle (S7) - Deb Gruen (Hamden, Conn.) - 6:05.90 (10)
Men's 200m IM (SM9) - Jarrett Perry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Wichita, Kan.) - DSQ
"It was a really smooth race and it didn't take a lot out of me, which gives me confidence going into the final tonight. I know it's going to be tough going up against my teammate Cortney [Jordan] and of course the rest of the competition. Cortney is a really smart swimmer and I know she wants the win just as badly as I do. I've got a feeling tonight is going to be a very tough race."
"I had a lot of energy left when I finished. I feel really strong. I'm going to push harder in the middle 200 and just go as hard as I can."
Julie O'Neill (Colorado Springs, Colo.), head coach, U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team
"In the 400m prelims, they tend to sit back a little more and just make sure they get in [to the finals.] Our swimmers are in a good position going into tonight."
"I'm not quite there yet [on my race performances], but I'm doing my best and that's all you can ask for. I'm looking forward to the 100m breaststroke."
For complete swimming results, visit http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/SW.shtml.
For more information, please contact Tara Dugan Kusumoto at 139 1063 1844. If calling from the U.S., dial 011 86 plus the local number.
Daily video highlights of the 2008 Paralympic Games are available at www.usparalympics.org and www.universalsports.com.