U.S. swimmers shine on Day 5 in Montreal
MONTREAL – Tonight was Team USA’s strongest showing in five days of competition at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec. The team won a total of six medals, including three world titles and a world record, and bumped its standing in the medals count to fourth, with a total of 22 (10 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze).
Noga Nir-Kistler (Allentown, Pa.) continued her good form with silver in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5 in 1:50.11.
“We had such a great night tonight, it felt incredible,” said Nir-Kistler. “I’m so proud to be part of this team.”
Kayla Wheeler (Seattle, Wash.) finished in fourth in the women’s 100m free S2 in 2:51.94. While she narrowly missed a medal, she celebrated several other achievements.
“At first I didn’t look at my time, just where I had placed, so I was disappointed,” said Wheeler. “But then I saw my time and realized I had dropped four seconds from my personal best and I had set American and PanAm records, and I was thrilled.”
Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) won the first gold of the night and broke her own world mark in the women’s 100m butterfly S8 with a time of 1:09.79 (previously 1:10.13).
“I was hoping to go fast, that’s what I’ve been training for, so I’m thrilled,” said Long. “My strategy was to take the first 50 easy and let it carry itself. Then I brought it back really strong for the second 50. This is my favorite race, and to go under 1:10 makes me so happy.”
The women’s 400m free S13 featured three U.S. teammates. Two of the three took medals; Rebecca Meyers (Timonium, Md.) handily won gold in 4:35.98, teammate Colleen Young (St. Louis, Mo.) won the bronze in 5:03.57, and Cailin Currie (Danvers, Mass.) finished in fourth in 5:10.38.
“It was exciting to swim with all three of us in the finals,” said Meyers. “It was great to stand on the podium next to Colleen, and Cailin had a really strong race, which was great to see, she’s swimming really well.”
Young, who set a personal best by dropping more than seven seconds off her PR, said “This competition has been really great. Everyone has been racing their best and it’s exciting for me to see my training pay off and set a new PR, not to mention win two medals here.”
In the women’s 100m free S7 Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) earned her second world title of the meet with a finish in 1:11.75.
“I swept the freestyle events, and that’s what I wanted to do,” said Jordan. “I could feel Susannah [Rodgers] from Great Britain in the lane next to me, and I knew it was a tight race. She’s a phenomenal competitor and it helped push me. I was also super pumped to race after watching Jess’s [Long] swim.”
The women’s 4x50m medley relay 20pts team, made up of Alyssa Gialamas (Naperville, Ill.), Noga Nir-Kistler, Reilly Boyt (Fort Collins, Colo.) and anchor Cheryl Angelelli (Clinton Township, Mich.), won the last medal of the night, taking bronze in 3:26.59, behind the Ukraine (2:57.35) and Russian (3:24.16) relay teams.
“It was really exciting,” said Angelelli. “Worlds is the first time a lot girls on our team have done relays, so it was really exciting to put together a team and medal and set a new American record.”
“It was a really close race, I was freaking out watching Cheryl finish,” said Gialamas. “I saw third pop up on the scoreboard and was so excited that we won bronze and set an American record.”
“It was a solid race, and I was really proud of our team,” Boyt. “We danced in the tent to warm up and then we danced again after we won. We just had fun with it.”
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 www.paralympic.org/events/montreal-2013/live-stream and for live results, visit www.paralympic.org/events/montreal-2013/live-results .
To arrange athlete interviews or for more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at (719)306-5639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.