RIO DE JANEIRO – Team USA amassed five medals Monday night at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, including gold-medal performances by Rebecca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland), Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Maryland) and Michelle Konkoly (Eagleville, Pennsylvania). Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nevada) supplied an additional silver medal, and Roy Perkins (Del Mar, California) solidified his third medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with a bronze.
Meyers made her third gold medal of the Rio Games look effortless with a dominating showcase in the women’s S13 400-meter freestyle, finishing the race in a world-record time of 4:19.59 and breaking her own world record of 4:21.66. Her next closest competitor, Anna Stetsenko of Ukraine, won silver with a time of 4:24.18. Meyers’ golden trio in Rio has raised her Paralympic Games medal count to five, having won a silver and a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The 21-year-old North Baltimore Aquatic Club member looks to continue her success in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
"Unbelievable is the word to describe all of this,” Meyers said with a smile on her face. "It was amazing tonight. I mean look at it (the crowd). Everyone is up on their feet. I could feel the energy when I dove in and it kept me going through the entire race."
Meyers was only the first American to top the podium as Snyder posted his second gold and third overall medal in Rio after a convincing victory in the men’s S11 50 freestyle. Snyder beat Japanese swimmer Keiichi Kimura to take gold with a time of 25.57. He won gold in the men’s S11 400 freestyle and silver in the S11 100 backstroke earlier in the Games. The U.S. Navy veteran showed supreme athletic ability by grasping gold in both the longest and shortest swimming distances contested at the Paralympic Games. He will swim the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle to complete his Rio campaign.
"I have to adopt a certain aggressive, never-say-die mentality,” Snyder stated. “That really paid off in that 50 because it didn't really go the way I had envisioned nor the way it went this morning. I definitely had a lot more contact with the lane line. But by not taking the race for granted I was able to get to the wall first.
The gold medals continued to pile up for the U.S. with Konkoly setting a world record in the women’s S9 100 freestyle. Konkoly lit up the scoreboard with a 1:00.91, topping the previous record of 1:01.08 formerly held by
South African Natalie Du Toit. The gold is the first medal of her Paralympic Games career. She made her Paralympic Games debut earlier in the morning edition. The Georgetown University alumna will wrap up her stint in the pool tomorrow with the women’s S9 50 freestyle, an event in which she holds the world record having set a time of 28.24 at the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials.
"It's not a dream anymore,” Konkoly exclaimed. “That's the moment that I've been dreaming about for the past year-and-a-half. That's what's got me out of bed every morning and now it's real.”
Jordan gave Team USA its lone silver medal of the night after an emotional performance in the women’s S7 50 butterfly. Jordan crafted a time of 35.46 to win her ninth-career Paralympic medal and sixth silver overall. Eight years ago to the day, Jordan did not make the final in the event, making the silver shine a bit brighter. The soon-to-be fourth grade teacher will finish her swim schedule with the 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle.
Perkins recorded his third medal of the Games with a bronze in the men’s S5 50 freestyle. Once again, the men’s S5 classification provided drama as Perkins finished third with a mark of 34.42 to Thanh Tung Vo of Vietnam and gold medalist Daniel Dias of Brazil. Perkins, who now owns a medal of every color in Rio with gold in the S5 50 butterfly and silver in the S5 200 freestyle, will look to add to his haul with the 100 freestyle on the final day of competition.
McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) raced with Jordan in the women’s S7 50 butterfly, coming in sixth with a time of 37.87. Coan, who won gold in the S7 50 free this past Friday, will be swimming the 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle with Jordan later in the meet.
Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) represented the red, white and blue in the women’s SM6 200 individual medley. The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center resident athlete finished sixth in her Paralympic final debut with a time of 3:13.57.
Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games swimming competition begins with the preliminary session, starting at 9:30 a.m. BRT/8:30 a.m. ET. Finals start at 5:30 p.m. BRT/4:30 p.m. ET.
Visit USParalympics.org/Rio2016 for more information on Team USA at the Paralympic Games, including athlete bios, schedule and live streaming. Follow the U.S. Paralympic team on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.