Jessica Long continued her dominance in the pool on Saturday night at the 2015 Can Am Para-Swimming Championships in Toronto.
The American swimmer over the first two days of the championships competed in five events and won all of them.
On Friday night she broke the world record in the S8 Women 400 Metre Freestyle twice, first in the morning preliminary heats and then that night in the final.
“I always swim better at night, that is just the type of swimmer that I am,” said Long, standing in the mix zone after winning the SB8 Women 100 Metre Breaststroke with a time of 1:31.47, shaving two seconds off her time from the morning. “In the morning your body just isn’t as warmed up as it should be.”
The previous world record of 4:42.28 was set at the London 2012 Paralympics by Long and is just one of 10 world records that she has to her name. Her Friday finals time was a full two seconds faster at 4:40.44.
London was her third Paralympics, her first experience was in Athens in 2004. At those games, she was 12 years old and won three gold medals.
At every games, Long goes home with an additional gold medal around her neck. In Beijing she won gold in 100 Metre Freestyle, 400 Metre Freestyle, 100 Metre Butterfly, and 200 Metre Individual Medley, while adding a silver and bronze in the 100 Metre Backstroke and Breaststroke.
Four years later, she repeated as Paralympic Champion in those four events and added the gold in the 100 Metre Breaststroke. Her total for this weekend’s Can Am Championships currently sits at five gold medals and there is still one more day of competition.
Despite being happy with the results from the past two days, that is a lot of swimming to do in a short period of time, and it does take a toll on Long’s race times.
“I can tell today, with that time and the race I did earlier in the 200 IM, I am not where I need to be in either my IM or breaststroke,” said Long. “And it is a good learning experience each time, but it is just a lot of training for multiple events.”
This summer Long is faced with a tough choice as the ParaPan Am Games are only a few weeks before the IPC World Swimming Championships. This is unusual as most major para swim meets are at least two months apart to give the athletes proper time to recover.
Given the amount of training and stress on the body that swimming multiple races causes, she will only be able to go to one event.
“Unfortunately I can only go to one,” said Long. “But it has been an honour to swim here.”
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