Jessica Long ups career total to 37 golds at Para Swimming Worlds
Jessica Long won two golds at the World Para Swimming Championships — upping her career total to 37 world titles — as the U.S. finished with six gold medals overall.
Long, who ranks second in U.S. history with 29 Paralympic medals, won the 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley at the seven-day meet in Manchester, England.
“I don’t feel my greatest, I’m definitely under the weather, but I’m so proud of what I was able to do,” the 31-year-old, five-time Paralympian said, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. “At about six weeks out to this meet, I thought I wasn’t ready. Paris is the next stage, and I feel pretty excited about it.”
It marked Long’s first global championship appearance since winning three golds, two silvers and a bronze at the Tokyo Games.
She made the team for the June 2022 Worlds in Portugal but dropped out before the meet, citing burnout and a post-Paralympic blues. She was absent from a global championship for the first time since her Paralympic debut in 2004 at age 12.
Morgan Stickney added two golds of her own in Manchester in the 100m and 400m freestyles, including a world record in the latter.
Stickney, 26, has now won individual gold at all three of her global championships dating to her major international debut at the Tokyo Games.
Stickney, who was reclassified after last year’s worlds, said she’s been in and out of the hospital every month of the last year. Over the last six years, she had at least 22 surgeries (including four major amputations). Her two Paralympic titles in Tokyo came less than two years after becoming a double bilateral amputee.
Christie Raleigh Crossley (100m backstroke) and Noah Jaffe (100m free) rounded out the U.S. golds in Manchester. Olivia Chambers had a U.S.-leading six total medals (two silver, four bronze).
The U.S.’ 25 total medals ranked eighth overall. Ukraine, a Summer and Winter Paralympic power, led with 55 medals, while Italy had 26 golds.