After an opening day haul of eight medals, Team Ukraine had a quiet day two (one medal and a new world record), and then quickly regained major medal momentum with 13 medals on the third day of competition, followed by another 12 medals on day four, including five gold medals in swimming. Day five witnessed another nine medals won by Ukrainian Paralympians, only to be topped by two on the sixth day with 11 more podium rewards and a second new world record. The seventh day had Ukraine again attain 13 medals and set a pair of new world records, while day eight garnered eight medals and a fifth world record at these Games.
Ukraine ranks fourth among all nations with 75 total medals (17 gold, 35 silver and 23 bronze), ranking sixth overall in gold medals and second in silver medals. A whopping 35 medals have been won in swimming and 16 in athletics. Outstanding individual performers thus far have been swimmer Maksym Krypak (five medals, including three gold), swimmer Andriy Trusov (five medals, two gold), and flag bearer/swimmer Yelyzaveta Mereshko (four medals, two gold). The latter three swimmers have set new world records in Tokyo (see below). Ukrainian Paralympians have established a total of five new world records at these 2020 Games.
Below are daily Ukrainian medal victories and highlights from the Tokyo Games.
Day Two – Gold medal-winner Mereshko set a new world record in the women’s 200-meter individual medley (SM6) with a time of 2:56.90 seconds in her qualifying heat. The previous world record was 2:57.24 seconds held by Great Britain’s Maise Summers-Newton. Mereshko won Ukraine’s lone medal this day with her silver in the aforementioned event (2:58.04 seconds in the final). Ukraine produced the biggest surprise in goalball on day two, gaining payback for their European Championships final defeat by thrashing Germany 11-5 in the preliminary round of Group B; Ukraine lost 4-5 in the quarterfinal against the U.S.A. Ukraine’s goals against Germany were shared between two players, Rodion Zhyhalin and Vasyl Oliinyk, taking full advantage of gaps in the Germans’ play, particularly in the second half. Ukraine capitalized on Germany’s lethargic offense, inopportune decision-making and penalties (Germany defeated Ukraine 6-3 in the 2019 Goalball European Championships final held in Rostock, Germany, on October 14, 2019).
Day Three – Gold medal wins by Mariana Shevchuk (55 kg) in women’s powerlifting (her best lift at 125 kg) and Anna Stetsenko (S13) in women’s swimming 400-meter freestyle (time). Four silver medals in swimming included Sergiy Klippert (S12) in men’s 100-meter backstroke (1:00.71 seconds), Trusov (SM7) in men’s 200-meter individual medley (2:29.99 seconds), Kyrylo Garashchenko (S13) in men’s 400-meter freestyle (4:02.07 seconds) and Kateryna Denysenko (S8) in women’s 100-meter backstroke (1:18.31 seconds). Silver medals were also won by Vladyslav Bilyi (F38) in men’s javelin (55.34 meters), Anastasiia Moskalenko (F32) in women’s club throw (24.73 meters) and Ukraine’s women’s épée team (Yevheniia Breus, Olena Fedota and Nataliia Mandryk, which lost 17-40 against China in the final). Bronze medals were claimed by Yuliia Pavlenko (T11) in women’s long jump (4.86 meters), Yehor Dementyev in men’s cycling track (C5) 4,000-meter individual pursuit (4:22.746 seconds) and a pair in women’s judo – Yuliia Ivanytska (48 kg, defeated Shizuka Hangai of Japan) and Nataliya Nikolaychuk (52 kg, defeated Ramona Brussig of Germany).
Day Four – Five gold medals in swimming had Mykhailo Serbin (S11) winning in the men’s 100-meter backstroke (1:08.63 seconds), Bohodaiko (SB6) in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:20.13 seconds), Krypak in the 100-meter freestyle (50.64 seconds for a world record), Denys Dubrov (SM8) in the 200-meter individual medley (2:20.96 seconds) and Anna Stetsenko (S13) in women’s 400-meter freestyle (4:23.92 seconds). Silver medals were won by Roman Danyliuk (F12) in men’s shot put (16.53 meters), Iryna Husieva (63 kg) in women’s judo (she lost against Khanim Huseynova of Azerbaijan), Viktor Smyrnov (S11) in men’s 100-meter backstroke (1:09.36 seconds) and Nataliia Morkvych in women’s foil individual (Category A) wheelchair fencing (Morkvych lost 8-15 against Haiyan Gu of China). Bronze medals went to Ivan Mai (Class 9) in table tennis men’s singles (after his 1-3 loss against Lin Ma of Australia), Rufat Mahomedov (73 kg) in men’s judo (winning against Vasili Kutuev of the Russian Paralympic Committee) and Maksym Nikolenko (Class 8) in table tennis men’s singles (after his 1-3 loss in the semifinal against Shuhai Zhao of China).
Day Five – Oksana Zubkovska (T12) earned a gold medal in the women’s long jump (5.54 meters), and super rower Roman Polianskyi won a gold medal in single sculls (PR1M1x) finishing with a time of 9:48.78 seconds. Ukraine won an additional three silver medals in swimming: Trusov in the 400-meter freestyle (4:35.56 seconds), Denys Ostapchenko (S3) in the 50-meter backstroke (45.57 seconds) and Illia Yaremenko (S12) in the 50-meter freestyle (23.70 seconds). Also winning silver were Anastasiia Mysnyk (F20) in women’s shot put (14.16 meters) and Nataliia Oliinyk (79 kg) in women’s powerlifting (with a best lift of 133 kg). Bronze medalists for this day were swimmer Maksym Veraksa (S12) in men’s 50-meter freestyle (23.83 seconds) and Oleksandr Nazarenko (90 kg) in men’s judo (Nazarenko defeated Arthur da Silva Cavalcante of Brazil).
Day Six – Trusov became the second Ukrainian to set a world record with his time of 1:08.14 seconds in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, eclipsing fellow countryman Bohdan Hrynenko’s old record of 1:08.92 seconds. Trusov and table tennis player Maryna Lytovchenko (Class 6) won gold medals (Lytvochenko defeated Maliak Alieva of the Russian Paralympic Committee 3-0 in the final). Silver medalists were Olena Fedota in women’s individual saber (Category B) after her 7-15 loss against Shumei Tan of China, Ihor Tsvietov (T35) in men’s 100-meter race (11.47 seconds) in athletics, Iana Lebedieva (F53) in women’s discus throw (15.48 meters), Andrii Doroshenko in men’s 10-meter air rifle standing (SH1) and Serbin in men’s 200-meter individual medley swimming (2:27.97 seconds). The four bronze medalists included Iryna Shchetnik in R2 women’s 10-meter air rifle standing (SH1), Zoia Ovsil (F51) in women’s discus throw (14.37 meters), Roman Pavlyk (T26) in men’s long jump (5.63 meters) and Team Ukraine (Maryna Piddubna, Maksym Veraksa, Anna Stetsenko and Kyrylo Gerashchenko) in the mixed 4×100-meter freestyle (SM13) swimming relay (3:55.15 seconds).
Day Seven – Maksym Koval (F20) won gold and set a new world record in the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.34 meters, besting the old record of 17.29 meters. Krypak (S10) won gold in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, setting a new record time of 54.15 seconds and topping countryman Denys Dubrov’s old record of 54.71 seconds. A third gold medal was captured by Trusov (his second gold, fourth overall) in swimming’s 50-meter freestyle (S7) with a time of 27.43 seconds. Four silver medals were won in athletics: Oksana Boturchuk (T12) in women’s 400-meter race (55.33 seconds), Oleksandr Yarovi (F20) in men’s shot put (17.30 meters), Yuliia Shuliar (T20) in women’s 400-meter race (56.18 seconds) and Nataliia Kobzar (T37) in the women’s 400-meter race (1:01.47 seconds). Road cyclist Yehor Dementyev (C5) won a silver medal in men’s time trial (43:19.11 seconds) and Veraska (S12) won silver in swimming’s 100-meter freestyle (52.87 seconds). Serbin (SM11) won silver in the men’s 200-meter individual medley (2:27.97 seconds). Team Ukraine won four bronze medals in swimming competitions: Yevhen Bohodaiko in the 50-meter freestyle (27.99 seconds), Vasyl Krainyk (SM14) in men’s 200-meter individual medley (2:09.92 seconds), Mereshko (her third medal) in women’s 100-meter freestyle (1:11.07 seconds to tie for a world record with Yuyan Jiang of China) and Team Ukraine in the mixed 4×100-meter freestyle relay (3:55.15 seconds). The mixed team was made up of Veraska, Maryna Piddubna, Stetsenko and Garashchenko.
Day Eight – Anastasiia Moskalenko’s (F32) efforts in women’s shot put got her a new world record to go with her gold medal. Her heave of 7.61 meters bested the previous record of 7.04 meters. Krypak (S10) won his third gold medal in the men’s 400-meter freestyle (50.64 seconds and set a world record). Silver medalists included Vasyl Kovalchuk in mixed 10-meter air rifle prone (SH2) and Oleksii Fedyna in men’s 100-meter breaststroke (SB12). Four additional bronze medals were won by Iryna Shchetnik in mixed 10-meter air rifle prone (SH1), Yana Berezhna in women’s 100-meter breaststroke (SB11), Yaryna Matlo in women’s 100-meter breaststroke (SB12) and Lev Kats and Ivan Mai in men’s table tennis (Class 9-10) after their 0-3 loss against China’s Hao Lian and Yi Qing Zhao.