Julia Gaffney Sets World Record to Open World Series in Indianapolis

By Olivia Truby | April 04, 2019, 7:40 p.m. (ET)

Julia Gaffney set a world record in the women's S7 100-meter backstroke to kick off the World Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis. 

INDIANAPOLIS - Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) wrote her name in the record books after setting a world record in the women’s S7 100-meter backstroke to open the 2019 World Para Swimming World Series at IU Natatorium in Indianapolis on Thursday.

Gaffney kicked off the morning by setting an American record in the S7 100 back, but bested her own time in the finals by setting a new world record with a mark of 1:19.47. This marks the first world record of Gaffney’s career.

Two Pan American records were set on the opening day of the meet by Gia Pergolini (Roswell, Georgia) and two-time Paralympian Becca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland). Pergolini set her Pan American record in the women’s S13 100 back (1:06.61), while Meyers set a new mark in the women’s S12 100 free (1:00.84).

Additionally, Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf, Maryland) set an American record in the men’s S14 100 backstroke (1:03.76).

For Team USA, results from the world series meet in Indianapolis will help determine the U.S. roster for the Parapan American Games, set for Sept. 23-Aug. 1 in Lima, Peru.

For the third time in as many years, Indianapolis is playing host to a stop on the World Para Swimming World Series circuit. The 2019 edition of the event features nearly 200 athletes from 20 countries.

Competition continues tomorrow with the 50 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke, 400 free, 50 free, 4x50 20 pt. free relay and 4x100 S14 free relay.

Quotes
Julia Gaffney
“I’ve been eyeing the 100 back world record since I moved to the Olympic Training Center in January. I wanted to set it here in Indianapolis. We’ve been working on my pull a lot, which has gotten much better. I saw the time and knew I set the world record. It feels really good to start the meet this way. I feel like I can relax and have fun because I’ve done what I need to do.”

Gia Pergolini
“The race went pretty well. It did hurt the last 50 meters, but it’s my best time in a long time. We’ve been working on a lot of sprinting, tempo work and technique, so I think that all really helped. I’m very happy with my race this morning.”

Results
Live results from the World Para Swimming World Series can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the event.