Jessica Long Wins Fourth Gold Medal of Paralympics

The Middle River swimmer twice broke the Paralympic record in the 200-meter individual medley; she has six medals overall.

Middle River's Jessica Long added to her Paralympic medal count Wednesday when she claimed the gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley event at the International Paralympics in London.

Long lowered the Paralympic record twice, first with a time of two minutes, 40.42 seconds in the morning preliminary race, and again with a 2:37.09 performance en route to her fourth gold medal and sixth medal overall of these games.

The double-amputee swimmer took control of the race early, but found herself challenged by Olesya Vladykina of Russia at the 150-meter mark, according to a United States Olympic Committee article.

"I didn't know she was that close, honestly," Long said in the article. "So I realized I needed to pick it up."

The 20-year-old began her competitive swim career as a member of the now defunct Dundalk-Eastfield Swim Club.

Another Baltimorean, first-time Paralympian swimmer Ian Silverman, won a gold medal in the "hotly-contested" 400-meter freestyle, according to the article.

The lead changed hands several times before Silverman finally took charge of the race to claim the title.

Long has four gold medals, two silvers and a fifth-place finish so far in the meet, with two races remaining.

Her six London medals bring her Paralympic medal count to 15. Long won three gold medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and six medals—four golds, one silver and one bronze—at the 2008 Beijing games.

She competes in the 100-meter freestyle final tonight.


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