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Elizabeth Marks Wins World Title To Highlight Day Four At World Para Swimming Championships

By Olivia Truby | Sept. 13, 2019, 10:24 a.m. (ET)

Elizabeth Marks competing in the women's 100-meter backstroke S7 at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships on Sept. 12, 2019 in London.


LONDON – Elizabeth Marks (Prescott Valley, Arizona) became the world champion in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S7 to highlight day four of the World Para Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Center in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Highlights From The Pool

Raising the flag – In her first race in London, Marks secured the first world championship medal of her career, swimming to the gold in the women’s 100 back S7 in a time of 1:21.05. She was joined in the race by her teammates Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) and Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Illinois), who finished fourth and eighth.

No. 40 – En route to the 40th individual world championship medal of her career, Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) earned the bronze medal in the women’s 400 freestyle S8. The bronze medal marks her third medal in London.

Three in a row – Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) won his third medal in as many days with a second-place finish in the men’s 400 free S8 (4:32.77). He previously earned gold in the 100 back S8 and silver in the 100 butterfly S8.


Team USA Results

Overall: 19 medals (7 golds, 9 silvers, 3 bronzes)

Sept. 12: 5 medals (1 gold, 3 silvers, 1 bronze)

Gold (1): Elizabeth Marks (Prescott Valley, Ariz.), women’s 100 back S7 (1:21.05)

Silver (3): Robert Griswold (Freehold, N.J.), men’s 400 free S8 (4:32.77); Leanne Smith (Salem, Mass.), women’s 50 back S3 (58.42); Colleen Young (St. Louis, Mo.), women’s 100 breast SB13 (1:16.14)

Bronze (1): Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), women’s 500 free S8 (4:51.45)

Full results can be found on the World Para Swimming Championships website.

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Elizabeth Marks

“There are a lot of people that support me every single day, so hopefully it means that I am taking their advice and working very hard for them. If it weren’t for people volunteering their time for me, this wouldn’t be possible. It’s very emotional to be here in the aquatic center. I was supposed to race here five years ago and ended up on life support. People in the UK saved my life. This was a beautiful ending to a very important chapter in my life.”

Robert Griswold

“The coverage of world championships is great. Since I was a little kid, I’ve dreamed of Paralympics being on TV regularly. To have the Olympic Channel and NBC covering this is amazing. For all the people who care about us and watch us swim at home. It’s just a really great thing, and I hope this coverage will lead into great coverage for the 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Colleen Young

“Medaling at any international competition is a huge honor. A silver at worlds is incredible. There are definitely some things I need to work on going into Tokyo, but I’m ready for the year ahead. Working hard, training hard and fixing the little things. That last 25 meters hurt a lot, so I know I can definitely build that last endurance of the 100. My stroke tempo definitely decreased throughout that race. Little things like that make all the difference.”


Looking Forward

Eleven Team USA athletes will continue competition tomorrow, including Becca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland), who will compete in two events. 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.


Get Connected

For updates throughout the meet, follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.