American swims 200 IM in 2:42.20

Updated: September 19, 2004, 3:11 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Rudy Garcia of the United States broke the world record Sunday in the 200-meter individual medley, one of five swimming world records to fall on the first day of heats at the 2004 Paralympics.

Garcia finished in 2 minutes 42.20 seconds, bettering by 3.62 seconds the 12-year-old mark set by Dutchman Joop Stokkel at the Barcelona Paralympics.

World records also were set in the 100 butterfly by Australians Sam Bramham (1:04.24) and Ben Austin (1:05.79). South Africa's Natalie de Toit beat her own mark in the 100 butterfly with a 1:07.69, and Brazil's Clodoaldo Silva broke the record in the men's 100 freestyle by almost three seconds, finishing in 1:19.36.

The Paralympics opened Friday and end Sept. 28.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press