David Abrahams Snags Silver for First Career Paralympic Podium Finish
by Matt Whewell
TOKYO — First-time Paralympian David Abrahams (Havertown, Pennsylvania) and five-time Paralympian Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) swam to a pair of second-place finishes for Team USA on the eighth night of racing inside the Tokyo Aquatic Center.
A mathematics major at Harvard University, Abrahams just missed the podium two nights ago with a fourth-place finish in the men’s 200-meter individual medley S13. Tonight, left no chance in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke S13 by finishing in 1:04.38 for his first international medal of any kind, a Paralympic silver.
Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) started Team USA’s night off with the women’s 100 breaststroke S8. The two-time Paralympic champion in this event, entered the night with the fourth-fastest qualifying time but didn’t let that keep her away from adding another medal to her collection. Touching the wall in 1:34.82, Long claimed her second silver medal of these Paralympic Games and fourth medal overall.
Another medal winner for Team USA was Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri) in the women’s 100 breaststroke S13. Already with a Paralympic silver in Tokyo, Young finished this event in 1:15.69 for the bronze medal.
Summer Schmit (Stillwater, Minnesota), who is swimming in her first Paralympic Games, collected a top-five finish in the women’s 200 individual medley S9. The 18-year old turned in a personal best time of 2:38.64.
Closing out the night for the Americans were Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) and McKenzie Coan (Clarksville, Georgia) in the women’s 50-meter freestyle S8. Weggemann finished the event in seventh place going 32.66, while Coan placed just behind her in eighth with a 33.18.
Other swimmers who raced in the morning session include Haven Shepherd (Carthage, Missouri), McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia), Natalie Sims (Edina, Minnesota), Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, N.C.), Martha Ruether (Allegany, N.Y.) and Morgan Stickney (Cary, N.C.).
Shepherd placed ninth in the women’s 100 breaststroke S8 in 1:56.26. Hermes’ 1:48.39 in the women’s 100 breaststroke S11 placed her 10th overall.
Sims and Aspden finished ninth and 11th in 2:43.95 and 2:48.46, respectively, in the women’s 200 individual medley SM9.
Two-time Paralympic Ruether took 15th with a 1:28.89 in the women’s 100 breaststroke SB13, while Paralympic champion Stickney’s 33.50 in the women’s 50 free S8 was ninth overall.
The penultimate day of racing continues tomorrow with preliminary heats scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EST with finals starting at 4 a.m. EST. All races will be live streamed through NBCOlympics.com, on Peacock and through the NBC Sports app. A full schedule of events is available here.
TEAM USA MEDALS – DAY EIGHT (3)
- Jessica Long (women’s 100m breaststroke S8)
- David Abrahams (men’s 100m breaststroke S13)
- Colleen Young (women’s 100m breaststroke S13)
It's not how you start, it's how you finish. I knew I still had a shot until my hand gets on that wall. I truly just want to be the best that I can be and if I'm going to be a part of the Paralympic movement, I am going to try my absolute best and whatever happens, I'll always be trying my best.
I feel unbelievable. It's been an absolute pleasure competing against the best in the world. It's been a new experience for me and overall, I am happy with how it turned out.
I'm blown away by how well I've done. I wouldn't be here without my family, my teammates and my coaches. It's been a grueling five years but coming away with silver and bronze medals is incredible. It's more than I hoped for.
For full results from the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, please visit Paralympic.org.
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