Cypriot Paralympian swimmer Karolina Pelendritou made waves yesterday after setting a world record time of 1:16.10 in the 100m breaststroke SB12 at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
Pelendritou, who is Cyprus’ most successful Paralympian ever with two gold medals, one Silver and one Bronze in three consecutive Paralympic Games, smashed the record set by Natalia Pronina of Azerbaijan who had set a time of 1:16.17 at London 2012 whilst also ensuring Cyprus won its first ever gold in the competition.
Placing second was Emely Telle of Germany with a time of 1:19.75 while Maryna Stabrovska of Ukraine took third and the bronze with 1:20.85.
Apart from the medals she has won at the Paralympic Games, the 26-year-old has also found success at the British Open Swimming Championship and the World Championships, European Championships.
Cyprus made its Paralympic Games debut at the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul, with a delegation of six athletes competing in archery, track and field, and swimming but only managed to make the podium in 2004 in Athens when Pelendritou won two golds.
The island’s only other Paralympian to win a medal is T46 sprinter Antonis Aresti who secured the silver in Beijing 2008.
Limassol-born Pelendritou, who begun suffering from vision problems at the age of 10, is currently the Ambassador for ‘Youth on the Move in Cyprus’ – an initiative of the European Union.
Between 2006 and 2008, she was appointed as ‘Women of the Year’ by the magazine Madame Figaro.