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Mallory Weggemann, right, of Eagan celebrated with teammate Jessica Long after winning the women's 50-meter freestyle S8 final at the 2012 Paralympics Games.

Alastair Grant, Associated Press

Weggemann wins gold at Paralympics

  • September 3, 2012 - 1:04 AM

LONDON — Mallory Weggemann won her first Paralympic women's swimming gold medal Sunday, setting a meet and American record in the 50-meter freestyle at the London Games.

Weggemann, of Eagan, won the S8 event in 31.13 seconds, edging Maddison Elliott of Australia (31.44) and Jiang Shengnan (31.55) of China.

"I've been dreaming of being on that podium and hearing the anthem for 4 1/2 years," she said. "I didn't expect it but I wanted it.

"It was a tough competition, I knew I had a tough race but I gave it my all and that was enough."

Regarding other Minnesotans competing, Paul Nitz, formerly of Edina, won bronze in the men's T52 100-meter dash. The three-time Paralymic Games gold medalist finished in 17.99.

Jon Rydberg of Oakdale lost twice in wheelchair tennis. He was beaten by France's Michael Jeremiasz 7-6, 6-1 in the round of 32 singles, then he and Stephen Welch were beaten in the round of 32 doubles by Brazil's Maruicio Pomme and Carlos Santos 1-6, 6-3, 7-6.

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