Susannah Rodgers of Great Britain, Cortney Jordan of the United States and Brianna Nelson of Canada pose with their medals from the women's 50 meter freestyle S7 race of the 2013 during International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships.
MONTREAL – U.S. Paralympics swimming athletes won four medals on Day 3 of competition at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec. Through Aug. 14, Team USA has won a total of 12 total medals (seven gold, five silver).
Breanna Sprenger (Avon, Ohio), 12, the youngest member of Team USA was first on deck tonight. All eyes were on her as she swam to a personal best (2:29.59) in the women’s 50m backstroke S2. The crowd, comprised of athletes and spectators, were on their feet in a standing ovation to cheer on Sprenger, the sole S1 in the race, to the finish behind her competitors.
“It was so awesome,” said Sprenger. “It’s such a cool experience to be here and hang out with the team. My favorite thing has been getting to spend so much time with my teammates and watching the medal ceremonies.”
Sprenger’s Dad was thrilled not only with his daughter setting a PR, but also with the crowd’s reaction to her finish.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity to be on the pool deck, to watch her swim and interact with her teammates,” said John Sprenger. “She’s been working at this for two years and it’s just surreal to be here and watch her compete – absolutely surreal.”
There were two world titles set by U.S. athletes on the day. Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) had her second great performance of the meet, winning gold in the 50m freestyle S7 (33.42).
“I am so happy,” said a beaming Jordan. “I couldn’t see the scoreboard at first because of my goggles, but the cheers were really loud, and it was just the greatest thing to look up and see my name in that first position on the board. I’m really looking forward to hearing our national anthem play again while I’m on the podium.”
Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) upped her career world titles to 17 tonight with her second gold of the week in the women's 400m freestyle S8 (4:43.76). Long dominated her competitors, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of the silver medalist.
“It’s a year after London, and my goal is to just go out there, swim well and have fun,” said Long.
One of the two silver medals was won by Noga Nir-Kistler (Allentown, Pa.) in a brutal fight to the wall. Nir-Kistler’s time of 36.37 was just shy of Italy’s Emanuela Romano, who won the gold in 36.33, but ahead of Great Britain’s Ellie Simmonds, who finished in 36.44.
“This was a great way to start the competition,” said Nir-Kistler. “I knew it was close at the wall… Ellie is a very gracious competitor, and I am very happy with the silver.”
Rebecca Meyers (Timonium, Md.) won silver, her second medal of the competition, in the women’s 100m butterfly S13 in 1:07.62. U.S. teammate Cailin Currie (Danvers, Mass.) finished the race in fourth place - just out of medal contention (1:15.39). At her first world championships, Currie, 15, showed her competitors that she’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.
“My strategy was to take the first 50 really fast, and it seemed to work,” said Cailin. “I’m really happy with my race and am so excited to be here competing.”
Tharon Drake (Hobbs, N.M.) also impressed his competitors and coaches alike tonight. While he missed the podium, Drake set a PR in the men’s 400m free S11, shaving five seconds off his previous best with his fourth place finish.
“I just go for it out there and leave nothing behind,” said Drake. “It’s the world championships, so I want to push myself to do the best I can and leave nothing in the tank.”
The 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships run through August 18 and feature approximately 500 athletes, including 24 U.S. athletes, from nearly 60 countries. Live streaming from the competition can be seen at ParalympicSport.TV and for live results, visit www.paralympic.org/events/montreal-2013/live-results.
For more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-306-5639 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.