2008 PARALYMPIC GAMES: U.S. Swimmers Set the Stage for Gold Medals

Sept. 13, 2008, 12:14 a.m. (ET)

Sept. 13, 2008

BEIJING, China - On day seven of competition at the National Aquatics Center, the American men came out strong with two world records in the preliminary rounds. Jarrett Perry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Wichita, Kan.) set a world record (1:03.47) in the men's 100m backstroke (S9) and Justin Zook (Plymouth, Minn.) set a world record (1:01.15) in the men's 100m backstroke (S10)

"It was really good, easy swim for me and I know I'll have to go a lot faster tonight," said Perry, who is defending his title from Athens (2004). "I know this is one of my best events. It's the one I really came here to win. I'm going to do everything I can and whoever wins is obviously the better competitor."

"I was out a little slower than I thought but this morning was a good swim," said Zook. "I plan to be a lot faster tonight."

Also ranked in the top three going into finals is Erin Popovich (Fort Collins, Colo./Silverbow, Mont.) in the women's 50m butterfly (S7.) Going after her fifth gold of the Beijing Paralympic Games, the U.S. women's co-captain will be challenged by Min Huang (CHN), who broke the world record in prelims with a time of 34.60, 4.11 seconds ahead of Popovich.

After Saturday morning's preliminary rounds, 14 U.S. athletes advance to the finals, including:

17:06 Men's 100m Backstroke (S12) - Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, N.C.) - 1:04.14 (4)

17:16 Women's 50m Butterfly (S6) - Miranda Uhl (Alachua, Fla.) - 43.98 (7)

17:16 Women's 50m Butterfly (S6) -Casey Johnson (Cypress, Calif.) - 43.99 (8)

17:37 Men's 50m Butterfly (S7) - Lantz Lamback (Colorado Springs, Colo./Augusta, Ga.) - 33.83 (7)

17:42 Women's 50m Butterfly (S7) - Erin Popovich (Fort Collins, Colo./Silverbow, Mont.) - 38.71 (2)

18:03 Men's 100m Backstroke (S9) - Jarrett Perry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Wichita, Kan.) - 1:03.47 (1, WR)

18:03 Men's 100m Backstroke (S9) - Michael Prout (West Springfield, Mass.) - 1:08.72 (6)

18:03 Men's 100m Backstroke (S9) - Cody Bureau (Colorado Springs, Colo./Latrobe, Pa.) - 1:06.42 (4)

18:08 Women's 100m Backstroke (S9) - Elizabeth Stone (Grand Rapids, Mich.) - 1:13.52 (4)

18:29 Men's 100m Backstroke (S10) - Justin Zook (Plymouth, Minn.) - 1:01.15 (1, WR)

18:34 Women's 100m Backstroke (S10) - Susan Beth Scott (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cape Girardeau, Mo.) - 1:14.09 (4)

19:00 Men's 50m Freestyle (S2) - Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Ga.) - 1:14.22 (5)

19:21 Men's 50m Freestyle (S3) - Michael DeMarco (San Diego, Calif.) - 1:00.69 (8)

19:26 Women's 50m Freestyle (S3) - Beth Kolbe (Tiffin, Ohio) - 1:11.69 (6)

Additional results from Saturday preliminary rounds:

Men's 100m Backstroke (S11) - Philip Scholz (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) - 1:20.46 (13)

Women's 50m Butterfly (S7) - Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) - 44.94 (10)

Women's 50m Butterfly (S7) - Deb Gruen (Hamden, Conn.) - 49.19 (13)


"I mainly wanted to go out and get a good swim in, be confident and have speed for tonight. I feel really strong. It's going to be a very tough race tonight. I just have to bring everything I can to the race."


"I'm feeling pretty good about the morning swim. I'm going to get some good rest and hopefully it will be even better tonight."


"This morning I pushed him [teammate Jarrett Perry] in the first 50 [meters]. It was great being right there with him for the race."


"I felt good. It's great for a morning swim. The competition is tough. I'm just going to go out and do my best."


"I found a little better groove this morning. Tonight I will go all out. The competition is getting tougher. The world record I had is nowhere near the records now. That challenges me to work harder to get them again."

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.