After two bronze medals earlier in the week, Kelley Becherer (Sheboygan, Wis.) moved her way up to the top of the podium, winning gold in the women's 50m freestyle (S13) with a time of 27.85.
"It's the last night and I just wanted to medal, so I went for it," said Becherer. "Everyone's been swimming really fast and I knew that all of them would be competitive. The gold feels amazing -all my hard work has gone into it."
Taking home silver medals for Team USA were Cheryl Angelelli-Kornoelje (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Ashley Owens (Stockbridge, Ga.)
After winning silver in the women's 100m freestyle (S4) earlier in the week, Angelelli-Kornoelje came back to match it in the 50m free, her toughest race, with a time of 52.81. "I've been swimming so fast all week," said Angelelli-Kornoelje. "I knew that if I could stay relaxed and just go for it, I could do it."
Owens added a silver medal to her list of Beijing successes, taking silver in the women's 400m freestyle with a time of 4:38.11. Katarzyna Pawlik (POL) broke Owens' previous world record (4:39.44), winning gold in 4:33.15. "I knew it was going to be a close race," said Owens. "Getting the silver medal was fantastic and I couldn't be happier.
Susan Beth Scott (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cape Girardeau, Mo.) joined her teammate on the medal stand to accept the bronze, her first Paralympic medal. "I've been training so hard for this and it feels great to be on the podium," said Scott. "I tried to go out as fast as I could and then hold it. It was my first medal ever and I'm really happy with it."
"I dropped nine seconds today so I'm really happy with that. Just to be here and swim that fast is amazing. I'm really happy with my performance tonight."
"I'm happy with my race. We have a really young team and we're going to be around for awhile to hold on to this."
"It was an amazing experience being here - being in this type of arena allowed me to see a whole new scale of competition. It makes me want to train harder and maybe come back in 2012. It was a great meet and an amazing experience to race in the Water Cube and watch my teammates have incredible races."
"That was the fastest heat we've ever had. I'm really happy to be a part of that. A lot of us are full-time athletes now and everyone in our class takes this event seriously. I'm a true competitor and I'm so proud of that, and to be an American representative on top of that is even better."
Team USA Results
- MEN'S 50M BACKSTROKE - S1
6th - EVANS Grover 2:51.17
- MEN'S 50M BACKSTROKE - S2
6th - LOVEJOY Curtis 1:14.69
- MEN'S 50M BACKSTROKE - S3
8th - DEMARCO Michael 1:03.03
- MEN'S 400M FREESTYLE - S10
5th - WISE Joe 4:15.83
- WOMEN'S 400M FREESTYLE - S10
SILVER OWENS Ashley 4:38.11
BRONZE SCOTT Susan Beth 4:39.44
4th - EAMES Anna 4:43.98
- WOMEN'S 50M BACKSTROKE - S3
8th - KOLBE Beth 1:17.97
- MEN'S 50M FREESTYLE - S4
5th - McCARTHY Joe 39.95
- WOMEN'S 50M FREESTYLE - S4
SILVER ANGELELLI Cheryl 52.81
5th - BRUDER Aimee 55.04
- MEN'S 50M FREESTYLE - S5
4th - PERKINS Roy 34.61
- WOMEN'S 50M FREESTYLE - S6
7th - UHL Miranda 39.14
- WOMEN'S 50M FREESTYLE - S13
GOLD BECHERER Kelley 27.85
- MEN'S 4X100M MEDLEY - 34 PTS
7th - TEAM USA 4:29.38 ZOOK Justin S10 1:01.33
PERRY Jarrett SB8 1:21.91
BUREAU Cody S9 1:02.92
LAMBACK Lantz S7 1:03.22
- MEN'S 4X50M MEDLEY - 20 PTS
4th - TEAM USA 2:43.00 LAMBACK Lantz S7 36.13
DENNISTON Dave SB4 50.81
PERKINS Roy S5 56.41 (timing system error)
McCARTHY Joe S4 19.65 (timing system error)
PR = Paralympics Games Record 2008 Beijing Paralympics Swimming