Elizabeth Marks wins silver in 50-meter freestyle
Elizabeth Marks poses with her silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on August 25, 2021 in Tokyo.
TOKYO – Winning medals is nothing new for Elizabeth Marks. After all, the three-time Paralympian has a couple under her belt. But winning them for a stroke that’s not in his wheelhouse is foreign to him.
In Rio, Marks won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke and bronze in the 4×100-meter medley (backstroke) relay. But it was her first freestyle swim in a Paralympic final – and such a short distance.
The Army Staff Sgt and a native of Prescott Valley, Ariz. Is known for her fast pace, but after finishing second in tonight’s 50-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, she will no longer be able to keep her sprinting skills a secret. .
His first place in the preliminaries with a time of 33.16 was a Paralympic record – and right next to the world record line. The accomplishment took her into the seed at the top of the finals.
“It’s a bit of a more recent event,” the 31-year-old admitted modestly after exiting the water. “My trainer has been very patient with me, so it’s still learning.
Hit to the wall by 0.04 seconds, Marks separated Ukrainian powers Yelyzaveta Mereshko and Anna Hontar, who finished first and third. Mereshko’s time of 33.11 broke Marks’ previous record, earning him another Games gold for five in total.
Admitting that she was “exhausted” after tonight’s race, Marks has more medal chances later at the Games: by competing in the 100-meter backstroke where she will aim to defend her gold medal won in Rio, the 100-meter. breaststroke and the 200m individual medley.
In the women’s 400m freestyle – S9, Team USA’s Summer Schmit and Natalie Sims secured a berth in the final after setting impressive times in the prelims earlier today.
For Sims, it was his best time. And the 24-year-old has made several round trips in the pool. She competed in Rio 2016, where she placed eighth in the 400-meter freestyle. His seventh place in the prelims earned him the chance to try and beat that in another Paralympic final.
But although she came out of the blocks quickly – and 0.03 seconds faster than the eventual leader – she would continue to repeat her eighth place in Rio.
“Just making the final was awesome, especially doing it with Summer. Super fun to come back here, ”said Sims.
The summer she was referring to is Summer Schmit, her 18-year-old teammate making her Paralympic debut.
Born without a right hand, Schmit grew up playing soccer and gymnastics, but at age 11 she started swimming and athletics. In June, she secured her spot on the team in practice, swimming her personal best in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4: 57.86.
Tonight she beat that time again, finishing seventh and a new personal best 4: 56.92.
“It’s amazing,” Schmit said of his experience so far. “A little terrifying at times, but in a good way. And it’s been a lot of fun having great teammates like Natalie right next to me.
The teammates finished just two seconds apart. Australia’s Lakeisha Patterson won the gold with a time of 4: 36.68, edging Hungary’s Zsofia Konkoly. Briton Toni Shaw won the bronze medal with a time of 4: 39.32.
Sims and Schmit, both from Minnesota, will be competing in additional races over the next few days.
“It’s been a whole different training process, you know, with COVID and everything, so I’m super excited,” Sims said. “And I’m looking forward to the rest of my races here.”
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo-2020-Paralympic-Games for the medal table and results.