NEW WORLD RECORD! US Swimmer Anastasia Pagonis Shatters World Record to Claim Gold at Paralympics 2021

Published 08/26/2021, 1:34 PM EDT


17-year-old, Anastasia Pagonis clinches the first gold for the swimming team of the USA. Not only this but she also manages to create a new world record with an incredible timing of 4:54.49 in 400m freestyle.

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Earlier, she was a star soccer player until she started to lose her sight five years ago due to genetic retina disease and autoimmune retinopathy. Not wanting to give up, she decided to channelize her athletic skills into swimming. She successfully created a record in 400m freestyle S11, at the US Paralympics trials in June. The American teenager made her first appearance as an international swimmer in the 2020 WPS World Series event held in Melbourne, Australia in February last year. She secured the first position in the 400m freestyle as well as the 200m medley. Furthermore, she also managed to come fourth in the 50m freestyle and fifth in the 200m freestyle.  

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Anastasia Pagonis at Tokyo

Anastasia is not only popular for her sporting talent but also widely famous for her content on social media. She has a following of more than 2 million, on TikTok. She not only talks about “blindness” as the central focus of her videos but also films her guide dog, Radar, which definitely increases the fan following. Surprisingly, one of her videos had a viewership of 12 million, wherein she is brushing her teeth. Indeed, she’s already an icon at such a young age.

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Sharing her experience of creating content on social media, the American said, “I do this for that random little girl that’s sitting out there scrolling through her phone and just listens to one of my videos and hopefully I can help her and change her life in some way,” she said to the Washington Post. “And I do it for myself. People are going to make fun of me. People are going to laugh at me. I might as well make fun of myself.”

Future performances for Anastasia

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In the coming days, she will be taking part in the 200m medley, 50m and 100m freestyle. Having already made her nation proud, she still has a long way to go. However, the competition will get more tough and intense as she progresses to the next stage. After beating two of her previous competitors, Liesette Bruinsma and Cai Liwen who secured silver and bronze respectively, let’s see what comes next for the American.

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Divya Chaturvedi

95 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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