Anastasia Pagonis breaks swimming world record twice and wins USA's first gold


( Celebrations for Anastasia Pagonis after she breaks world record twice in 400m freestyle S11 to claim USA's first gold; while Japan's SUZUKI Takayuki wins 100m freestyle S4 on Day 2 at Tokyo 2020.

Anastasia Pagonis went into the history books not once but twice when she broke her own world record in the women’s 400m S11 to win United States’ first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.


The delighted 17-year-old finished in a time of 4:54.49 and nearly half a length ahead of two-time Paralympic champion and three-time world champion Liesette Bruinsma from the Netherlands, who finished in 5:05.34. China’s CAI Liwen took home bronze.

Earlier in the heats, Pagonis had broken the world and Paralympic records in 4:58.40, which was a staggering 26.6 seconds ahead of the runner-up. After the final, she whooped with joy, and later said: "I knew that I always swim better at night, and I just needed to have my 'warm-up' in the morning and get used to the pool and get the nerves out, because I was super-nervous this morning. Now I feel super-confident going into all my other races."
USA also won its second gold when Gia Pergolini secured victory in the women’s 100m backstroke S13.
Day 2 of the Paralympic Games was full of standout performances at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. SUZUKI Takayuki made his dream come true of winning gold for the host nation and setting a new world record on his fifth and final Paralympics in the men’s 100m freestyle S4. He also sealed Japan's first victory of Tokyo 2020 when he hit the wall in 1:21.58, which also broke the record set by his compatriot HANADA Yuji at Athens 2004.
On the podium later, the 34-year-old looked emotional as the national anthem was played. It was his second Paralympic gold medal: he won the first at Beijing 2008 in the 50m breaststroke SB3. He picked up bronze in the same event on Day 1 at Tokyo 2020.
"I’m very happy to have won the gold medal,” he said. "It is very special, because my family and friends and public cheer me on and cheer the Japanese team on. I haven't experienced that before. I'm also very happy to have broken the record of the Japanese guy, who I respect."
Suzuki also beat Italy’s Luiji Beggiato into silver and five-time world champion Roman Zhdanov from the Russian Paralympic Committee into third.
According to

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