Meyers sets record in S13 100 fly; Long 2nd in S8 400 free

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES -

RIO DE JANEIRO — Becca Meyers of Ti­mo­nium won gold in his­toric fash­ion by set­ting a world record in the women’s S13 100-me­ter but­ter­fly with a time of 1 minute, 3.25 sec­onds on Thurs­day, the first day of com­pe­ti­tion at the Par­a­lympics.

Meyers, 21, a stu­dent at Franklin & Mar­shall, topped the pre­vi­ous mark of 1:04.98 held by Mus­lima Odilova of Uzbek­istan, who took sil­ver. The gold medal is the first of Meyers’ ca­reer; she won a sil­ver and a bronze medal at the Lon­don games, her Par­a­lympics de­but.

“It feels so amaz­ing,” Meyers said. “I am so ex­cited to win the first gold medal for U.S. Par­a­lympics Swim­ming, and we are go­ing to kill it for the rest of the week. I can’t wait to see what ev­ery­one else does.”

Jes­sica Long of Bal­ti­more opened her fourth Par­a­lympic Games with a sil­ver medal in the women’s S8 400-me­ter freestyle — the 18th Par­a­lympic medal of her ca­reer. She has 12 gold, four sil­ver and two bronze medals. Long touched the wall at 4:47.82, trail­ing only Lakeisha Pat­ter­son of Aus­tralia, who fin­ished in 4:40.33, break­ing Long’s pre­vi­ous world record of 4:40.44.

“I wish it went a lit­tle dif­fer­ently,” Long said. “I think the only hard part about that is adding time in one of my best races. But at the same time, I’ve over­come some re­ally bad shoul­der in­juries. So I’m re­ally proud that I fin­ished, and even signed up for the race.”

Pat­ter­son em­braced Long on the medal stand. Long smiled, ac­cepted the hug and lifted Pat­ter­son off her feet.

“Jess is an amaz­ing per­son and a re­ally great, fierce com­peti­tor,” Pat­ter­son said. “She’s achieved so much. To be able to have my idol come up to me and say she’s proud of me — it was re­ally quite bit­ter­sweet. And that’s go­ing to stick with mefor a long time.”

McKen­zie Coan of Clarkesville, Ga., and Cort­ney Jor­dan of Hen­der­son, Nev., who train to­gether in Bal­ti­more, fin­ished fifth and sev­enth, re­spec­tively, in the women’s S7 100-me­ter back­stroke. Coan reached the wall in 1:25.17 and Jor­dan in 1:25.95.

LEO COR­REA/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bal­ti­morean Jes­sica Long, fac­ing cam­era, em­braces Lakeisha Pat­ter­son of Aus­tralia af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the women’s S8 400-me­ter freestyle in Rio de Janeiro.

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