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Fil-Am shines in US Paralympics swim trials
Gia Pergolini
https://images.teamusa.org/

Fil-Am shines in US Paralympics swim trials

(The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Records fell on opening day of the US Paralympics Team Trials in swimming with Filipina-American Gia Pergolini setting the world record in the women’s 100m backstroke S13 with her time of 1:05.13 over the weekend in Minneapolis.

The 17-year-old Pergolini, whose father Bill is Italian-American and mother Alice Masangkay was born and raised in Manila, dominated her event, and remained a hot candidate for the US Team to the Tokyo Paralympics set Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

“I feel great. I’ve been dreaming about this for a really long time and seeing it play out is really nice. It gives me a lot of confidence and it gives me support going into Tokyo and just representing my country and getting that world record for my country is a really great experience,” said Pergolini, who started swimming competitively when she was five years old.

Pergolini, from Roswell, Georgia, also got into lacrosse, gymnastics and soccer but focused on swimming after being diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, an inherited disorder of the retina.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s just so surreal. I have to thank my coach and my mom and my parents for it, it’s just crazy,” said Pergolini, who in 2017 set multiple records in American and Pan-Am competitions, and the US Paralympics Swimming World Championships Trials in Colorado Springs.

Ellie Marks of Arizona, a two-time Paralympics medalist, broke the American records in the 100m backstroke S6 (1:21.56) and 50m butterfly S6 (37.06). Hannah Aspden of North Carolina joined the record spree by clocking 1:09.48 in the 100m backstroke S9.

Jessica Long of Maryland, a 13-time Paralympics gold medalist, displayed excellence in ruling the women’s 100m breaststroke SB7 in 1:34.18.

PARALYMPICS
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