Becca Meyers poses with her medal after the women's 400-meter freestyle S13 final at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships on Sept. 9, 2019 in London.
LONDON – Team USA made a splash in the pool, including a world record and five podium finishes, on the opening night of the World Para Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Center in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Highlights From The Pool
On top of the world – Becca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland) had one goal coming into the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, which was to set a world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle S13. She bested her previous world record, swimming to the finish in 4:22.34 to win Team USA’s first gold medal of the world championships in London.
One-two finish for Team USA – Team USA was well-represented on the podium in the women’s 50 butterfly S7. Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) swam to the gold medal, and was joined on the podium by Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) who claimed the silver medal. The 2019 edition of the world championships marks Weggemann’s first world championships since 2010 and first medal since the Paralympic Games London 2012.
First-ever international medal – En route to the first medal of his career at a major international swim meet, Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Indiana) stood atop the podium following a first-place finish in the men’s 50 fly S7 to become the world champion.
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Team USA Results (Sept. 9)
5 medals (3 golds, 2 silvers)
Gold (3): Becca Meyers (Baltimore, Md.), women’s 400 free S13 (4:22.34);Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minn.), women’s 50 fly S7 (34.76);Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Ind.), men’s 50 fly S7 (29.71)
Silver (2): Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Ark.), women’s 50 fly S7 (35.67); Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), women’s 100 free S8 (1:06.08)
Full results can be found on the World Para Swimming Championships website.
“I feel amazing right now, I can’t even put it into words. It’s so surreal to be back on the podium, especially after London 2012 where I won my first international Paralympic medal. I’m excited to be back up there again, reliving some memories and creating some new ones. The 400 free is my favorite event.
“I’m ecstatic. I’ve been to two Paralympic Games before and haven’t won a medal at the Games, so that was my first major medal at a world championships. More importantly, I got a spot for Team USA next year, and that’s really huge for us. Our men’s team really needs it, so I’m just glad I could do my part for Team USA.”
“I’m two seconds away from bursting into tears. I’m beyond happy. I had a really rough go these past three years since Rio, so to finally be back after busting my butt to be here, and to be here in London of all places, is absolutely incredible. It’s been nine years since I’ve been at a world championships, and it’s been seven years since I’ve sat atop a major international podium and it was here in London in 2012. It’s been a long road. Being back here and seeing over 600 athletes and seeing how much the Movement has grown, it makes it all the better. It’s incredible to see how far our Movement has come since London 2012."
Competition continues tomorrow at the London Aquatics Center, where Austin, Gaffney and Long will look to win their second medal in as many days. The full schedule can be found here.
How To Watch
Fans can watch live coverage of all finals sessions on the Olympic Channel, beginning at 1 p.m. ET daily, with additional streaming online at NBCSports.com/Live or through the NBC Sports app.
For updates throughout the meet, follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.